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 July 30, 2015 07:34 GMT
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department will report today on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week.
The Commerce Department will also issue the first of three estimates of how the U.S. economy performed in the April-June quarter. In the first three months of the year, the economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.2 percent.
Also today, Freddie Mac will report on average mortgage rates and Zillow will release its latest data on rental prices around the country. The report is likely to show that rents continue to climb amid strong demand for apartments
Procter & Gamble will report quarterly financial results before the market opens.
Amgen and LinkedIn will report after the closing bell.
HOME RENTAL PRICES
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home rental prices climbed much faster than incomes in June. But there are signs of slowing momentum around New York, Los Angeles and Washington.
Real estate data firm Zillow says that U.S. rental prices rose a seasonally adjusted 4.3 percent in June from a year ago, roughly matching the same pace as in May.
Rents continue to jump at double-digit rates in Denver, San Francisco and San Jose, California. But the monthly data suggests that several other major markets have either added enough new buildings or prices have pushed residents to their financial limits and cannot rise further.
Median prices slipped month over month in the New York metro area by $15 to $2,340, while also dropping slightly in Washington and flat-lining in Los Angeles.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Samsung Electronics is reporting a fifth straight quarterly profit drop as the Galaxy S6 series of smartphones failed to reverse its declining fortune in the smartphone industry.
Samsung's April-June net income was 5.8 trillion won ($5 billion), down 8 percent from 6.3 trillion won a year earlier. A FactSet survey of analysts predicted 5.6 trillion won of net income.
Sales fell 7 percent over a year earlier to 48.5 trillion won while operating income dropped 4 percent to 6.9 trillion won, in line with its earnings preview earlier this month.
A robust performance at its semiconductor department helped narrow the profit decline. Operating income from its semiconductor division surpassed the 3 trillion won mark for the first time in multiple years.
But the launch of the latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones, were not enough to halt its decline in the smartphone industry.
HELSINKI (AP) -- Telecommunications and wireless equipment maker Nokia Corp. says second-quarter net profit was (euro) 347 million euros ($383 million), with growth particularly strong in its core networks division.
Overall sales increased 9 percent to 3.2 billion euros, with higher software sales and global demand for mobile broadband. Net profit a year earlier was 213 million euros but is not directly comparable because of discontinued operations.
CEO Rajeev Suri says all three of the Finnish company's remaining business sectors performed very well and it was "well positioned to deliver on our full-year 2015 commitments."
Nokia, which was unable to meet the challenges of Apple, Samsung and Asian phone makers, has seen a turnaround in its business since selling its ailing handset unit to Microsoft for 5.4 billion euros in 2013.
BERLIN (AP) -- Lufthansa says its earnings trebled in the second quarter compared with a year earlier, helped by falling fuel costs.
Deutsche Lufthansa AG, which includes airlines such as Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Germanwings, reports net earnings of 529 million euros ($584 million) for the April-June period, up from 173 million euros a year earlier. Revenue rose 8.9 percent to 8.39 billion euros from 7.7 billion euros.
Lufthansa confirmed its full-year outlook for adjusted pre-tax earnings of over 1.5 billion euros before strike costs.
The second quarter saw no strikes by Lufthansa's pilots in a long-running dispute that has led to repeated disruptions.
Chief financial officer Simone Menne says, alongside "extra momentum" for Lufthansa's passenger airlines, "the fall in fuel costs is largely responsible for the improvement in our results."
FORD F-150-CRASH TESTS
DETROIT (AP) -- Ford's aluminum-sided F-150 pickup saw mixed results in new crash tests.
The four-door Super Crew version of the 2015 F-150 got top ratings in all five crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. For now, it is the only full-size truck on the market with the institute's "Top Safety Pick" rating.
But the smaller Super Cab version did poorly on one frontal crash test.
The insurance institute says aluminum is safe and performed well. The different results were due to a design difference in the steel frame beneath the aluminum sides.
Ford noted that the trucks earned the government's top safety ratings. But it says it will improve the design of the Super Cab and Regular Cab trucks in 2016 so they perform better in front crashes.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Boeing has broken ground on a new $80 million, 290,000-square-foot building that will house about 800 new employees and be the third structure in the aerospace company's growing Oklahoma City campus.
The Chicago-based Boeing also announced that the headquarters of the Global Services & Support unit's Aircraft Modernization and Sustainment division will relocate to Oklahoma City.
Boeing also says the Aircraft Modernization and Sustainment division, which provides aircraft services for executive transport, airborne refueling, airborne command and control and global strike capabilities, is relocating from St. Louis.
Oklahoma City officials have estimated the expansion will have an economic impact of $637.7 million over four years. Earlier this year, the city agreed to $6 million in job creation incentives for Boeing.
Boeing announced plans last year to move most of its defense and support-related services from Washington state to other areas as part of its efforts to improve the competitiveness of the Defense, Space & Security unit. The company said about 2,000 employees could be affected, with 900 jobs possibly moving to Oklahoma City and up to 500 to St. Louis in about three years.
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