Smart letterbox notifies users when they’ve got physical mail


This is part of a series of articles that looks at entrepreneurs hoping to get their ideas off the ground through crowdfunding. At the time of writing, each of these innovations is currently seeking funding.

When it comes to digital technology, its common to name platforms after the real-world things they aim to virtually replicate — online messages arrive in an inbox. But today’s digital inboxes have become something much more than their physical counterparts, offering greater functionality. Aiming to redress the balance, Mr. Postman is a solar-powered mailbox that offers notifications, package tracking and smart security features.

Inspired by their pet dog Firu, which barks every time the postman comes, the team at Simple Elements set about creating a system that alerts smartphone users when they’ve got physical mail, much like email notifications. Mr. Postman features a sensor that detects when mail has been delivered or picked up and uses an app to notify owners. The wifi-enabled box is keyless and can be opened or locked remotely, and learns the routine of the mailman. Virtual keys can also be shared among friends and neighbors, enabling users to have their mail picked up by someone they trust if they’re away. Mr. Postman also detects if it has been tampered with and alerts owners. Designed for packages, the mailbox is 3 1/2 inches wider than the standard model so larger mail doesn’t get turned away. Users can also load the tracking numbers of their expected USPS mail and track its location through the app. The video below explains more about the product:

Much like Outbox — the service that intercepts customers’ physical mail and forwards them a digital version instead — Mr. Postman is an example of how the ‘dumb’ objects we use everyday can benefit from the features of digital platforms. Kickstarter backers can currently get their hands on the mailbox for USD 200. What other objects can take advantage of the ‘internet of things’?


Spotted by Murtaza Patel, written by Springwise

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