Quick Pitch:Send real postcards directly from your phone to friends and family.
Genius Idea: Automatic address retrieval.
You’re enjoying the ambiance of a beautiful beach on the island of Maui when you decide to share this perfect moment with your folks and friends back home.
You take out your iPhone, fire up an app, snap a photo, and select who you’re sending it to. You don’t even need to remember their addresses. You add a message, sign your name with your finger, and add a map of the surrounding area — just so you can be sure they’ll be jealous.
Then, for little more than the price of a stamp, the app converts your words and images into a real postcard.
This is the promise of Postcard on the Run, a freshly-launched startup with an iPhone application of the same name. An Android application is supposedly just around the corner.
“The mobile photography space is red hot, especially as a means of sharing experiences,” says Josh Brooks, founder of Postcard on the Run. “Nothing illustrates that experience better than the actual photograph.”
Postcard on the Run creates and mails high-quality photo postcards from your phone from $0.99 a pop. It can even retrieve the addresses of your contacts, so you don’t have to.
The mobile postcard generator application has been done before. You may have heard of Postagram. But, says Brooks, Postcard on the Run is all about refining the details and throwing in personalized touches.
Postal Gopher, for instance, is the startup’s in-app address retrieval system so you don’t have to manually look up and enter contacts’ mailing addresses. You select a contact from your phone’s address book and carry on creating your postcard. Postal Gopher will ping your friend via SMS or email and ask her to verify her address. When she does, your address book is updated with her address and your postcard is shipped off tout de suite.
And what if you could add a smell to capture the mood of your experience to your postcard? In a few weeks time, you’ll be able to do just that. The pending feature, called “smell mail,” will let you select scratch-and-sniff scents such as sun tan lotion, Christmas tree or holiday spice.
Postcard on the Run makes an SDK for developers looking to add postcard printing services to their own applications, which means you may soon find a send-a-postcard option in your favorite iOS or Android photo apps. Camera Genius and Photogene, two popular photo apps for iPhone, will be adding the feature in future app updates.
You can also expect the startup to venture beyond postcards and allow you to turn your mobile photos into other keepsakes.
Postcard on the Run is a four-person team based in Los Angeles. The startup is currently in the process of raising an Angel round of funding.
Postcard on the Run
Change Text Color
gps enabled photo
Preview Card (front)
Preview Card (back)
Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark
The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.