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Email Letter Printer

From Inbox to Postbox.
  (+4, -3)
(+4, -3)
  [vote for,

The digital age may have led to a reliance on e-mailing instead of the conventional post. Whilst this is, for the most part, extremely convenient, it is also hard to argue that the simple joy of tearing open an envelope to see what is inside has been diminished somewhat because of this.

This would be a new type of printer combined with a slightly different email interface. Instead of reading a new email, you could just send it straight to the printer without reading it. The system would record that it was printed, but it would remain as unread, in case you don't read the letter straight away.

The printer would store both regular paper and envelopes. To begin with the email would be printed out, but remain inside the printer. The user's address, which would have been pre-programmed into the printer, would be printed onto the envelope. As many pages as are necessary would then be folded up and inserted into the envelope. The envelope would be sealed and ejected to the user.

Should the total folded paper be too thick for the envelope, the user would get a choice between loading it with bigger envelopes or for the letter to be printed like a normal letter

For that truly authentic letter feel, a stamp dispenser could attach stamps to the letter before it is printed out. But that would cost extra.

In theory you could just change the address to somebody you would like to send a letter to and send an email to yourself to get a letter for posting, but that goes outside the scope of the idea a little.

And of course, a level of discretion would be necessary in describing what emails to print out. My inbox is currently brimming with spam that I, in no way would want a permanent copy of.

hidden truths, Nov 12 2005


       Obviously you wouldn't want to use this for printing bills. I just like the feeling of receiving an actual letter from someone, that you would want to read. It's for the same reason that I prefer to go shopping rather than shop online where possible.
hidden truths, Nov 12 2005

       I do think there is a different eye cast upon the content, depending on the medium. Due to their low effort requirements and sheer quantity, emails are not valued the way a letter might be. Some form of the proposal might be novel and interesting, if not actually useful.   

       My natural writing style is more suited to letters than the brief, get-it-overwith-quickly style that is the expectation with email.   

       I have sensed that people grow impatient and bored with what comes across in email (and likely this annotation) as rambling and "over talking", but might well in a letter be considered friendly chit-chat and appreciated for the effort.   

       I never did write many letters anyway, so I don't feel like I lost much on that side. I never wrote much until email came along. Now I've managed to resolve my email style conflict by refining my writing to the acme of brevity.
half, Nov 12 2005

       You prefer to shop in the real world than the virtual one? So you mean to say that you have a feeling of excitement when opening a letter but have less of those feelings when the thing being delivered is a package? I have to say I find it more exciting having a package delivered than going out and buying something, not to mention (almost always) the cheaper costs of the item online.
fridge duck, Nov 13 2005

       Why not just have them mail you the letter?   

       To quote Dilbert: "Goodbye paperless, hello clueless!"
energy guy, Nov 14 2005

       I agree, I wouldn't waste any trees on most of the email I get, but maybe it would make more sense if they emailed you something that was really worth printing.   

       Imagine it like this: You get an email (containing your special password given only to family & friends) with an image attached. The image is then automatically printed on a dedicated photo printer. Or perhaps someone could send a scan of a letter they had carefully handwritten (is dotted with hearts & everything).   

mungojelly, Nov 14 2005

       [fridge duck], I enjoy the mystery of a personal letter. As a general rule, when a package arrives, I already know what it's going to be. And I usually see the people that have more than enough free time to go shopping themselves doing all their shopping online as lazy. Some things admittedly are easier to find online, but there's an awful lot of people who genuinely can't be arsed to go down to the shops.   

       And the point that has been made about saving trees is entirely relevant, which is why it would be suggested that this only be used for exceptional personal emails.
hidden truths, Nov 16 2005


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