Post Office Leading the Way In New "Paper Technology"

Briefs in a Brief

Washington, D.C. ( – The U.S. Postal Service’s plan to print customer emails and send them as more expensive first-class mail may be the “tip of the iceberg,” according to analysts who predict that many other digital documents could also be produced at much higher cost, and much more slowly, by utilizing new “paper technology.”

The comments come after the Post Office said this week it will test an email-to-paper system allowing customers to send emails to a post office to be printed and delivered as first-class mail. The cost would be 41 cents – eight cents more than current 33-cent postage.

“Theoretically, documents that now take up only a fraction of space on a single computer could be converted into literally mountains of paper,” said UBS Warburg analyst Gloria Naderki, who added she was also monitoring the postal service’s experimental messenger-by-horse technology, which she estimated is “at least 100 years away.” On a related note, Monsanto today revealed it is working on technology that will convert MP3s — music delivered digitally, often for free, over the Web — into expensive CDs and, eventually, 8-track tapes.

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