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New innovations aim to revive letter writing

High-tech letters
A letter written by a volunteer in Ivan Cash’s worldwide art project. Photo: Forbes

Can email and robots bring back letter writing?

Perhaps, according to a recent Forbes report on efforts to use technology to revive the tradition of handwritten correspondence.

One example: a worldwide art project in which volunteers transcribe strangers’ emails and mail the physical notes to the recipients.

Founder Ivan Cash created the project after setting a personal goal to write more letters. He described his project as “training wheels” to get people back in the letter-writing habit.

More than 700 volunteers have written and mailed 23,500 letters since Cash’s project began four years ago. Some volunteers spend as long as an hour on a single letter, adding doodles and other personal touches.

Elsewhere, the New York-based company Bond uses robots to imitate customers’ handwriting and “pen” notes that are then mailed to business associates and loved ones.

Founder and chief executive Sonny Caberwal came up with the idea when he realized many people want to send handwritten letters but lack the time.

“We’re bringing back something that you can touch and feel,” Caberwal told Forbes.

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