Wi-Fi-enabled Mr. Postman smartifies snail mail
By Dave LeClair
December 23, 2013
Nowadays, it seems like we are connecting everything in our homes to Wi-Fi. Whether it's locks, lightbulbs or other appliances, people seem to like using their smartphones to control their home. Mr. Postman aims to bring that same level of connectivity to snail mail deliveries.
Mr. Postman is not the first smart mailbox we've seen, having previously looked at a product called Postifier. However, where that was a device that sat in your existing mailbox, this is an entire replacement device that's built from the ground up to be connected to a home wireless network.
The purpose of this connected mailbox is twofold. First, it alerts the user when the mail has arrived, preventing unnecessary trips to the mailbox. Second, it allows the user to remotely lock and unlock it, which could come in handy for preventing important packages or letters being stolen or letting a neighbor collect the mail when you're away.
The mailbox connected to a home network via Wi-Fi. For those with a mailbox located outside of the typical Wi-Fi range, the company is offering a special long-range model that can connect from up to 300 ft (91.44 meters) away.
Solar power is used to keep the mailbox running, as connecting to an outlet will be difficult on the side of the road. Should lack of sunlight be an issue for a few days, a 3.7 V battery is also on board, which the creators promise will provide sufficient power to last a few cloudy days.
Another interesting, though less technologically advanced, feature of Mr. Postman is the shape of the mailbox itself. It is built to be 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) wider than a standard mailbox, which will allow it to take many packages that would normally have to be left on the front porch, where they are at risk of being stolen. The mailbox will also be available in bronze, pewter and silver color options.
Simple Elements, the company behind Mr. Postman, is seeking funding on Kickstarter. It has just launched its campaign and is seeking US$50,000 for mass production of its product and to fund development of an Android app (an iOS app has already been created).
Those interested in planting a Mr. Postman on their lawn will be required to pledge $180 while the early bird special lasts. Once those run out, a $200 pledge is required. The long-range mailbox requires an additional $20. If the goal is met, the team expects to deliver the product in August 2014.
The Kickstarter pitch below provides more information on Mr. Postman.