The Royal Mail has given the humble stamp a 21st century edge by enabling them to interact with smartphones.
It works with six special issue stamps released for the 50th anniversary of the very last stream train, the 9F Class Evening Star.
When these stamps are viewed by Junaio augmented reality browser software, available on the iPhone App store and Android Martketplace, it fires up a video of the marvellous actor Bernand Cribbins, reading the poem the Night Mail, by WH Auden.
Cribbins was selected due to his association with trains, having played the porter in the 1970s move adaption of, “The Railway Children” – and also because Cribbins is cool again since appearing in Doctor Who as returning character Wilfred Mott.
"Intelligent stamps mark the next step in the evolution of our stamps, bringing them firmly into the 21st century,” said a Royal Mail spokesperson in a statement. “Royal Mail’s special stamps mark key events and anniversaries in the UK’s heritage, through a programme which aims to be both educational and informative.”
We don’t envisage many people ditching emails just for the change to interact with their stamps, but it’s certainly a novel way of putting snail mail back in the public eye.