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Chattanooga-made App Merges Technology to Handwritten Letters
By Chloé Morrison, Nooga.com
Chattanooga company Pale Dot Voyage recently teamed up with Colorado entrepreneur Tomer Alpert to blend technology with old-school letter writing.
The result is a new iPad application—called Feltâthat allows the user to send a personalized, handwritten note without the hassle of envelopes, stamps and the post office.
"There's so much via Twitter and Facebook," David Littlejohn, creative director and founder of Pale Dot Voyage, said Tuesday. "You miss the day when you get a simple note [in the mail]."
Users can write a personal message in their own handwriting and address the card using the tablet's touchscreen. Felt then prints, seals, stamps and sends the card.
The app has several tools, such as different pens, inks and an eraser. And users can choose different card designs and then use their finger or a stylus to write a message.
Littlejohn said using a stylus will likely allow the writing to look more like the user's handwriting, and eventually, his team wants to make it more convenient to purchase one, possibly by selling them through the product's Web page, he said.
For a flat rate of $3.99, Felt prints the card on Mohawk cardstock and combines it with a kraft paper envelope. Then, the note is stamped and mailed within 24 hours via the United States Postal Service.
The team sort of guessed at what would be a reasonable fee for the product, and the $3.99 charge is enough for the creators to make a profit, Littlejohn also said.
Pale Dot Voyage launched in 2012, and employees have been working on building up the company's portfolio. The company's website explains that the company isn't a traditional business. It's a hybrid, a "digital bakery."
Through the company, Littlejohn works with clients on digital marketing and creating applications, among other things.
Alpert brought the idea to Pale Dot Voyage, and Littlejohn developed the product and worked with partners to create everything from the name and branding to the video.
"We wanted to make it really intuitive and enjoyable," he said. "We wanted to make an experience that was as seamless and enjoyable as writing a card to a friend."
Currently, the app is only available on the iPad, but the team is working toward making it work with Android tablets. They have considered the iPhone option, but that device is almost too small for it to be easy to write on, Littlejohn said.
The app can be downloaded for free.
And even though the cards are created with an iPad, the personal touch is still thereâthat's the goal, Alpert said.
âWhen someone receives one in the mail, it looks just like you wrote it with a pen and paper,â Alpert said in a prepared statement. âAnd they can tell you really took the time to do something thoughtful.â
Photo: A new iPad app developed in Chattanooga allows users to send a personalized, handwritten note without the inconvenience of going to the post office. (Photo: Contributed)
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Last Update on October 31, 2014 07:28 GMT
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average surged 5 percent and the yen slid against the dollar after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced new stimulus to boost a flagging economic recovery.
Other Asian stock markets were also higher after the Japanese central bank's announcement Friday. The dollar rose 1.2 percent to 110.64 yen.
The bank said it would increase its asset purchases by between 10 trillion yen and 20 trillion yen ($90.7 billion to $181.3 billion) to about 80 trillion yen ($725 billion) annually.
The Nikkei was up 4.6 percent at 16,380.11 after shedding some of its initial gains. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.2 percent and Seoul's Kospi was up 0.1 percent.
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Today. the Commerce Department will release its September report on consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity in the U.S.
Also, the University of Michigan will issue its monthly index of consumer sentiment for October. In September, the index reached its highest level since July 2013, led by greater optimism that the economy will grow and incomes will rise.
The Labor Department will also release the third-quarter employment cost index.
Before the market opens, Exxon Mobil will report its quarterly financial results.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Citigroup is slashing its third-quarter earnings by $600 million, saying that recent investigations by regulators have altered the results it reported earlier this month.
The New York-based bank on Thursday revised its quarterly net income to $2.8 billion from a previously reported $3.4 billion, citing legal expenses.
The bank's operating expenses rose from $12.36 billion to about $13 billion.
The company said in a statement the unexpected increase came from "rapidly-evolving regulatory inquiries and investigations, including very recent communications with certain regulatory agencies related to previously-disclosed matters."
Citi previously reported third-quarter net income of $3.44 billion, or $1.07 per share, on Oct. 14. The results exceeded Wall Street estimates.
Like other major banks, Citigroup has been the target of lawsuits and government investigations for its role in the mortgage meltdown that helped spur the financial crisis of 2008.
SURGICAL GOWNS LAWSUIT
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A lawsuit says Kimberly-Clark Corp. falsely claimed its surgical gowns met the highest standards for protecting against Ebola and other infectious diseases.
Lead attorney Michael Avenatti says the Texas hospital where two nurses contracted Ebola used to stock the gowns but it's not clear if the nurses had used them.
The $500 million fraud suit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles on behalf of a surgeon who wore the gowns.
The lawsuit says Kimberly-Clark knew for a year that the gowns failed industry tests and allowed the transfer of bodily fluids, bacteria and viruses, but the company still promoted them as having the highest level of impermeability.
The maker of Kleenex and other consumer products says it doesn't comment on lawsuits but stands behind its products' safety.
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