Postcards, delightful as they are to receive, take a lot of time and effort for the sender. If I go on vacation and want to send one to my friends, I have to find the perfect card, figure out the local postage fees, and search for a post office to send it from. (That, or I bring the cards back home and forget they exist!) French startup Postmii is offering an ingenious solution to this overwhelming obstacle for lazy people, by printing and sending your postcards for you from a solar-powered tricycle. Targeting tourist attractions as vendor spots, it’s a one-stop shop for visitors to send their “Wish you were here” thoughts.
Solar panels on the top of the tricycle power the tablet, which lets users take a picture and customize their postcards. After you’re happy with a pic, the printer prints the image on-demand. Then, you just need to fill out the card and drop it in the mailbox for same-day mailing. The postcards also have an augmented reality feature, which can be viewed by the receiver through a proprietary app. The company is currently working on bringing the technology to a Facebook Messenger bot to view the AR postcards, so users won’t have to download a separate app.
Prices for postcards start at around 6 euros in France, but it’s a little more costly at around $10 to $15 in the US. I’m not sure if I’d be willing to pay that much for convenience, but who knows? Traveling makes people do crazy things, budgets be damned.
The augmented reality features are neat and the solar-powered tricycle is cleverly designed, but the most useful part of Postmii is the fact that it’ll stamp and send your postcard without you having to schlep your way to a foreign post office. The company hopes to license the Postmiibike model to cultural attractions, festivals, and company events. It’s hard to believe this service isn’t utilized by more tourist attractions, so maybe we’ll start to see more Postmiibikes pop up soon.