Connected Objects
Postie connected thermal printer delivers printed messages from afar

Although mobile devices do a great job of helping people communicate with friends and family who live many miles away, there is just something special about custom, handwritten messages and drawings that people share with each other in person. That’s especially the case when there are kids involved.

Postie is a connected Bluetooth thermal printer that delivers small notes -– drawings or written messages — to family and friends who have downloaded a companion Android and iOS app. Before starting to send and receive messages, both the recipient and sender must install the app on their compatible smartphones. Next, the recipient must place the smartphone onto Postie to receive the messages.

The kid-friendly design features a yellow Postie character –- the top half of its head appearing on the smartphone and the yellow thermal printer’s message slot below that serving as its mouth. Postie ships in November. Future pricing isn’t provided. But Indiegogo backers can get one for a pledge starting at $99 for  early birds. Its makers are out to raise $8,000 by May 10.

Other devices, including Oronote, have attempted to serve as digital versions of Post-it messages. But Postie is wisely targeted at kids and their families, and offers a specific usage scenario that is fun and actually useful. To make the most out of its design, however, both the sender and recipient must own Postie in addition to the app. Older Android and iOS smartphones also might not be compatible. Canadian and European customers are out of luck, at least for now, because it’s only shipping to the U.S. and Japan.