According to my grandmother, I’m the greatest photographer on the planet. Of course, my grandmother is also amazed at my ability to operate a toaster and a gas pump. My achievements are well-known among her friends at the croquet club — yes, these actually exist. Luckily, I’ve never had to actually prove my photography genius to them as my photos all reside on my iPhone where I can easily alter them using the built-in filters from Instagram. These croquet friends never actually see physical prints of my work.
That could all be about to change.
Thanks to the folks at Postagram, I can now send my grandmother a photo I’ve taken, while simultaneously putting an end to the “you never write” guilt trip. For $0.99, Postagram will print out my selected Instagram photo in postcard form, slap an address on it, and send with postage to my chosen recipient. And so, with actual physical proof of my lack of talent, my hopes of shooting the Palm Beach Ladies 2012 gardening calendar may be dashed.
Seems like everywhere you turn these days the act of turning ones and zeros into physical items is growing. Call it the digital to tangible revolution. Let’s take a look at some other cool examples.
Hipstamatic Photo Packs
Like Instagram and Postagram, Hipstamatic allows you to take filter-enhanced photos with your smartphone and order prints of your favorite sall under one roof. While Hipstamatic doesn’t send out postcards, they will send you packs of your photos in various sizes. This is great news for you folks who are looking for both 4 inch and 10 inch copies of your cat dressed up as various characters from Gone with the Wind.
ProperCloth Custom Dress Shirts
Outside of the photo taking world, companies such as ProperCloth are letting you become your own Thomas Pink by giving users the tools to create custom dress shirts online. By simply picking out the fabrics, sizes, and accents, creating an original and custom fit shirt online can be accomplished in mere minutes. And with ProperCloth’s generous return policy, if you’ve missed the mark on sizing or design, alterations are easily made.
Blurb Turns Your Blog into a Book
I spent the mid-aughts writing a daily blog about how much I loved my girlfriend. A year later it morphed into a blog about how horrible my now ex-girlfriend was. Finally, it settled into a rhythm of cursing various deities for my own misfortunes and cryptic messages aimed at winning the girl back. It’s a no-brainer that these blog posts should be collected in bound books, and placed in the top drawer of side tables in the rooms of several national hotel chains. Luckily, blurb has a service that will take your social scripture (or anything else you’ve written) and place it neatly into a professionally bound book.
Our digital world is becoming more and more tangible. These companies are giving people a chance at owning something unique, something they’ve created, and something real. No longer limited to the confines of their computer monitors, users can touch and feel their masterpieces … and their grandmothers can hang them on their refrigerators.
What digital to tangible offerings have you come across?