'Intelligent' stamps from Royal Mail go on sale

There's an app for everything these days, even one that let's you use the stamp on your letter interactively. Royal Mail has launched a new 'intelligent' stamp that lets you view a related webpage by 'reading' the stamp with a smartphone. The Royal Mail said intelligent stamps "mark the next step in the evolution of our stamps, bringing them firmly into the 21st Century."

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Using a smartphone with the Junaio image recognition app, you can look at your 'intelligent' stamp. You will be taken to a webpage showing a video of Bernard Cribbins reading WH Auden's poem The Night Mail. Mr Cribbins said: "WH Auden wrote the Night Mail poem in 1936 for the Post Office's own blockbuster film of the same name, which has for years remained in the hearts and minds of many."

The app uses something called augmented reality which uses real life information and images and pairs them with web-based data - another example of its use is the app which allows users to point their smartphone at the night sky and be able to pick out constellations from the stars.

The Royal Mail's Philip Parker said: "This is the first time a national postal service has used this kind of technology on their stamps and we're very excited to be bringing intelligent stamps to the nation's post.

"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.

"Through intelligent stamp technology, our stamps will open up to a whole new world of information, interest and fun to collectors and the millions of people who will receive them on letters in the coming months alike."

Will you be buying an intelligent stamp when they are released or do you think they're unnecessary? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.