The US Postal Service will soon make checking your mail as easy as checking your e-mail. That's because the USPS is actively testing a service it calls Informed Delivery - a daily e-mail that contains pictures of the mail destined for your physical mail box that day.
The service, which may seem asinine to some, will only be offered to residential addresses (sorry, no businesses). Furthermore, participants will only be able to see scans of the front-side of letter-sized envelopes in greyscale. Only 10 pieces of mail will be sent to your inbox each day; additional image scans can be viewed on the USPS website.
Packages and other odd-sized parcels won't be included in the daily inbox message although the USPS does eventually plan to add support for magazines and catalogs. Daily messages should arrive in inboxes no later than 10:00 AM EST daily, Monday through Saturday.
The USPS has been testing Informed Delivery in several zip codes in Northern Virginia since last year with plans to expand to the New York City metro area and some sections of Connecticut in the near future (if not already available). The postal service said it is free to participate in Informed Delivery.
So, when would such a feature come in handy? If you're traveling and expecting an important piece of mail, one could use Informed Delivery to verify when it arrives and have a friend or family member retrieve the letter. Or if you're feeling extra lazy, a quick look in your e-mail inbox could tell you whether or not it's worth venturing outside into the elements to grab the mail.
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