You’ve got E-mail. The U.S. Postal Service is currently testing a service that will email people photos of the envelopes of their letter-size mail. It sounds pretty invasive, but the service, Informed Delivery, will only send daily photos of your mail’s exterior, nothing inside.
So far Informed Delivery has been operating in seven different Virginia zip codes, and will now be making its way to the New York City metro area. As of now it’s free, but you need to sign up online to start getting photos of your letters. It only works for individuals, and as of now will not apply to packages. So why would you want the exterior of your mail to be photographed and emailed to you?
While it seems like a pretty new service, our mail has been photographed for some time. It’s been an effective way for the Postal Service to sort and track mail, but it’s also been an important tool for lawsuits. The tracking program debuted back in 2001, shortly after an anthrax attack killed five people.
This seems to be as far as virtual mail will go, but who knows, maybe snail mail well be a thing of the past sooner than later.