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Postcards back in style with HazelMail

A new iPhone application recently debuted in the Apple App Store that takes photos directly from the iPhone photo library and transforms them into personalized postcards.

Users can choose any photo from their library or take one on-the-spot from wherever they are and the application automatically prints, stamps and mails the photos as postcards. The application, which was created by HazelMail, is targeted toward iPhone owners who enjoy travel or who simply prefer physical memories over digital ones.

"The app just makes sharing a physical printed version of a photo wherever you are easy," said Michael Lato, president and founder of HazelMail, Los Angeles. "It couldn't be simpler.

"Take a picture, type in some info and from wherever you are to wherever someone can get mail, a picture will appear. No shopping for stamps, navigating postage or searching for a mail box. That kind of accessibility is in your pocket."

The application is free to download in the Apple App Store and comes with a credit for one free postcard.

HazelMail also launched a feature that makes it even cheaper for travelers which lets users pre-purchase a dozen postcards for $12, as opposed to the usual $1.50 per postcard. This negates the need to entering in credit card information while in the middle of a tourist adventure.

Moreover, HazelMail's application comes equipped with a personal address book feature which gives travelers easy access to the addresses of friends and family.

"We chose mobile simply because I think the biggest audience is living in the mobile channel," Mr. Lato said. "I think that mobile is grabbing Internet users, so our audience is going to ultimately be shifting into the mobile channel."

HazelMail claims that it hopes travelers will never come home from a trip again with a pile of well-intended purchased postcards that have never been sent.

The application reaches out across a wide demographic that includes parents, travelers, business men, photography lovers and artists.

The application has great utility, in the sense that users won't have to try to figure out foreign postage or find mailboxes in unfamiliar territory. HazelMail's application does it for them in a completely customized way.

HazelMail uses a global network of printers based in North America, South America, Europe and Asia which print and mail postcards from the closest location to the recipient in order to guarantee speedy delivery.

Currently, the application is available in six languages such as English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish so that users are comfortable worldwide.

"I think mobile takes the benefits of everything you can do on the Web and puts it in your pocket," Mr. Lato said. "It's just an access and a level of mobility that I don't think people imagined would happen fifty years ago."