We all get mail, and we’d all like to know when we’re getting that mail. Especially if there’s a package that has been stuck at some shipping depot for what seems like weeks and we just want our Blu-Ray of Road House, dammit. And the Postybell might solve that problem… but should you kickstart it?
1. What Is It?
Essentially, the Postybell is a proximity sensor paired with a simple controller and cellular radio. You slot it inside your post box, and whenever mail is slid in, it triggers the sensor. The controller sees the triggering and fires off a text message to the phone number of your choice, telling you that you’ve got mail waiting in your box.
2. What Does It Offer That Other Products Don’t?
According to the Postybell team, most other products in this arena only use Bluetooth or WiFi, so they’re short-range products. The Postybell can apparently contact you no matter where you are in the world, which to be honest does sound like a fairly useful service if you’re away from home a lot and want to track your mail.
3. What Comes With My Purchase?
You’ll get one or more Postybells, and the obligatory app, because nothing being crowdsourced these days can be released without an app. The app is Android only, in something of a switch for these kinds of things. You also get a USB charger.
4. What Will My Money Be Going Towards?
The Postybell team was kind enough to offer a bar chart on their campaign indicating where the cash goes, a trend we’d like to encourage. It looks like the money will go to building the iOS app, finishing up the Android app, testing the Postybell, and apparently they’ll also be throwing some money into industrial design.
5. Are There Any Drawbacks You Can See?
Probably the biggest one is that this whole shebang is powered by USB. There aren’t really too many mailboxes that close to an outlet in the first place, and although the Postybell team does offer a solar charger for extra, it seems that for most people, solar power is going to be a necessity for the product to work conveniently.
Another drawback is that the design doesn’t appear to be entirely firmed up yet. True, this is partially due to the fact that they’re still working on the design, but so far, the main site just features renders of the product. None of these sink the Postybell, but they are issues that we hope the team addresses.
6. How Much Will I Pay?
It’s $50 for the basic unit, although $40 early bird units are still available as of this writing. You’ll probably want to shell out for the solar charger, though, so practically speaking, it’s $65 to $75.
7. Should I Kickstart It?
We’re going with “yes” on this one, despite it being a bit lacking in polish. It’s essentially a light, portable proximity sensor, and that’s got more than a few uses around the house, well beyond just tracking your mail. For $75, that’s hard to turn down.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.