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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)
More Business News
Last Update on October 20, 2014 17:25 GMT
ARMONK, N.Y. (AP) -- IBM is paying $1.5 billion to Globalfoundries in order to shed its costly chip division.
IBM will make payments to the chipmaker over three years, but it's taking a $4.7 billion charge in its third quarter results.
IBM reports adjusted earnings of $3.68 per share, while revenue totaled $22.4 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had predicted earnings of $4.32 per share and revenue about a billion dollars higher.
Globalfoundries will get IBM's global commercial semiconductor technology business, including intellectual property and technologies related to IBM Microelectronics. It also gets IBM's existing semiconductor manufacturing operations and plants in East Fishkill, New York and Essex Junction, Vermont, as well as its commercial microelectronics business.
Under the agreement, Globalfoundries will become IBM's exclusive server processor semiconductor technology provider for 22 nanometer (nm), 14nm and 10nm semiconductors for the next 10 years.
NEW YORK (AP) -- A research group says it expects China's economy to slow over the next decade.
The Conference Board on Monday forecast that growth in the world's No. 2 economy will slow to 4 percent per year between 2020 and 2025.
Chinese officials have rolled out stimulus measures as economic growth slows. The government is aiming for growth of 7.5 percent this year.
China's boom in the past decade, with growth peaking at about 14 percent in 2007, was driven by exports and spending on assets such as factories and apartment buildings. China's leaders now want more growth based on Chinese consumers.
EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- The European Central Bank has started buying securities called covered bonds as it launches its latest stimulus effort aimed at preventing the 18-country eurozone economy from sinking back into recession.
An ECB spokeswoman confirmed the purchases began Monday.
Covered bonds are investments backed by loans such as mortgages. They carry extra protections for investors, which sets them apart from other such asset-backed bonds made from bundled loans.
The ECB is buying them to encourage banks to make the underlying loans. The idea is to get more credit moving to businesses in a eurozone economy that didn't grow at all in the second quarter.
The ECB stimulus efforts also include offers of extra-cheap loans to banks, based on how much they are lending to companies.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Platform Specialty Products Corp. said Monday that it will spend about $3.51 billion to buy rival chemical maker Arysta LifeScience Ltd. to diversify its product offerings.
Miami-based Platform makes specialty chemicals used in computers, cars and oil rigs. Arysta, which is owned by a fund backed by private equity firm Permira, makes fungicides and herbicides for crops.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.
Arysta, which sells its products all around the world, had revenue of $1.5 billion in 2013. Platform has been growing its agricultural chemical business. Earlier this month, it bought agrochemical company Agriphar for about $380 million.
Shares of Platform are up 3 percent.
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) -- Sears is looking to raise more cash, announcing that it is planning a rights offering that may raise up to $625 million.
The company, which runs Kmart and its namesake stores, also said Monday that it struck a leasing deal with European fashion retailer Primark.
Sears Holdings Corp. said the rights offering will allow its stockholders to buy up to $625 million senior unsecured notes due 2019 and warrants to buy shares of its common stock. It anticipates up to $625 million in proceeds if the offering is fully subscribed and closes as planned. The proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes.
Earlier this month Sears said it would sell most of its stake in its Canadian unit to raise as much as $380 million.
Canadian Pacific ends CSX deal talks
Canadian Pacific Railway says it has ended talks with U.S. counterpart CSX about a possible combination and plans no more discussions about a deal.
The railway operator did not say why it ended talks, but it did note in a brief statement that regulatory concerns appear to be a major deterrent for railroads considering combinations.
Several reports surfaced recently that CSX had rejected a merger offer from Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. Both railroads declined to comment on those reports, but CSX CEO Michael Ward said last week that regulators would likely take a cautious approach to any railroad consolidation deals.
Besides Jacksonville, Florida-based CSX Corp., the other large railroads are Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific, BNSF and Canadian National.
CSX shares are down more than 3 percent to $32.74 in premarket trading.
AIR BAG RECALL
DETROIT (AP) -- U.S. safety regulators are warning owners of more than 4.7 million vehicles that have been recalled for air bag problems to get them repaired immediately.
The warning issued Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers vehicles from multiple manufacturers that date to 2002.
Inflators can rupture in air bags made by Takata Corp., causing metal fragments to fly out when the bags are inflated in crashes. So far, automakers have recalled about 12 million vehicles worldwide because of the problem.
Safety advocates estimate that more than 20 million cars have the faulty inflators in the U.S. alone. They say at least four people have died from the problem.
The inflators have led to multiple recalls from Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, BMW and Mitsubishi.
TOYOTA-AIR BAG RECALL
DETROIT (AP) -- Toyota is recalling 247,000 vehicles in high-humidity areas as an air bag problem that has plagued most of the auto industry continues to widen.
The recall posed Monday by U.S. safety regulators covers the 2003 to 2005 Corolla and Matrix, the 2002 to 2005 Sequoia and the 2003 to 2005 Tundra. Also included is the 2003 to 2005 Pontiac Vibe made by Toyota.
Inflators can rupture in air bags manufactured by parts supplier Takata, causing metal fragments to fly out when bags are inflated in crashes. The problem has caused serious injuries. So far, automakers have recalled about 12 million vehicles worldwide because of the problem.
The recall covers vehicles in South Florida, along the Gulf Coast, in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa.
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