One morning I was sat at home working on an IOT post for this site while the post man delivered the mail through the letter box.
I walked down the stairs only to find that it was junk mail. I then walked over to the recycle bin and I disposed of the letter.
Because my mind was in “IOT mode” at this moment in time, it gave me a “light bulb moment”!
And so here it is..
Junk mail. Physical spam. Those letters that are posted through our letterboxes at home on a seemingly daily basis that finds it’s self in the bin only moments later.
For me personally, this isn’t a huge problem as I only need to throw something away, but for those companies and organisations that are sending out these letters are just wasting time, money and resources to get this junk mail to our homes.
I propose a solution that would massively reduce waste, and at the same time it could possibly generate revenue for government. I call it the electronic letterbox (E-Letterbox).
How It Works
The physical device would be a ruggedized tablet computer that is embedded into the kitchen wall of our homes. (Please do not give Apple the contract! :/)
This tablet would use a sim card as it communicates over the mobile network. Similar to the smart electricity meter here in UK.
This device would be used to send us emails at home, from a government body.
Companies and organisations would send a request to the government to allow them to forward on an e-mail to all properties in the country/region and for a fee.
If the request is successful, the email would be delivered to our tablet at home. The email could have an acknowledge button that we could send back to the sender.
Personal Email vs Physical Property Email
Each property in the country will be assigned it’s own unique email address by the government. Just like how our physical homes have a physical address, the physical property would also have a virtual address in the form of an email.
Scenario 1: Charity Organizations
It seems like every other day I receive a charity donations bag through the letterbox.
I can’t help but wonder how much time they waste by delivering all of these bags and not to mention the cost of their wages, plus the cost of their vehicle maintenance.
If the donation collectors had some way of knowing who wanted a donation bag then they could deliver these bags to the addresses that requested one.
How would they do this? They would send a request to the government to send out a broadcast email to all homes in the collections area. The government would approve and send out the email.
When I receive this email I notice that it requires a response from me “Would you like a collections bag? Yes/No”.
If I DO happen to have items that I would like donating then I would respond to the email with a “yes” reply.
These collector agents would now have a list of local addresses that require a donations bag!
When it comes to collection day, the collector agents will only need to collect from the addresses that requested the bag.
Scenario 2: Business
So this was the reason why I came up with this idea.
One morning I received a random letter through the letterbox from a company who was offering solar panel and inverter maintenance.
Seems legit, right? Well I guess it could be useful to someone who actually has a solar kit installed.. but not me!
Generating Revenue For Government
The government would have a steady flow of income from businesses and organisations.
It would certainly be a cheaper option for a commercial entity to broadcast a digital message to our homes and so it would be more commercially viable and economical to pay the government for this service.
Reducing Waste Of Time, Money & Resources
Obviously no one likes waste and the way the environment is heading then this proposal could be a step in the right direction.
I couldn’t imagine how much paper and plastic waste that could be saved from littering our planet.
Also think of the administration time that is spent from producing such letters from businesses.
Someone has to be paid a wage to make this physical spam happen and keep the system maintained I guess.
Crazy idea? I don’t know. This post may find its self of the dusty shelf of this internet but that’s OK with me. Sometime’s idea’s just need to be put out there I guess.