Once a staple of any vacation, the postcard has since faded into obscurity due to the advent of technology and instant sharing. One company meshing the best of both worlds, Touchnote Ltd., has a popular app on both Android and iOS that allows users to turn photos into personalized postcards and have them sent for around a $1.49 per postcard. In celebration of the 2012 Olympic Games, both Touchnote and Samsung want users to have the luxury of sharing their amazing moments via a postcard without having to visit a local London gift shop. That’s why Samsung is sponsoring a promo that will allow users to send free Touchnote postcards up until August 31st.
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Here’s the typical course of a couple of world-changing new technologies:
Printing press. Steve Guttenberg created the moveable type press back in around 1400, shortly after the invention of beatboxing. At first it disrupted the monks' monopoly illuminated manuscripts (books with built-in reading lights), then came the pulp paperback, then comic books, and then people started typing letters to prison inmates.
Postcard. This innocent vacation staple was introduced in the 1800s. It’s a letter without an envelope which can be read by anybody as it travels from sender to recipient, and in this way was the inspiration for the inventors of email. Later, it was used to mail contest answers into Saturday morning TV shows, and in England a smutty variety emerged which is still available today. Then people started sending postcards to prison inmates.
Today, we have the iPhone. I’ll skip the last five years of its history and arrive at today. Now, people can send paper postcards to prison inmates using their iPhones.
Imagine that you stood in one place and took a bunch of photos in different directions. Now imagine that you printed these photos onto glass sheets and arranged them in the same planes that they were shot: the picture you took of the sky is horizontal, facing down. The mountain off to the left is upright and facing right.
Now imagine that these pieces of glass magically intersect to make a lattice which you can turn to view, and that those pieces of glass disappear from view when they are edge on.
You just imagined Stilla, a great new iPhone app which does all of this for you, without harming a single sheet of glass.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS 2012 — Snapily is an app that lets you snap 3-D photographs with your iPad or iPhone, and then view them with 3-D specs. You can even order 3-D lenticular postcards from the app and have them sent to your home. It would be amazing: if it worked.