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Writing letters like in the olden days

Every day, 400 million pictures are sent on WhatsApp alone, and the number of images sent by e-mail daily is closer to 300 billion. Two startups are resisting the trend: Their apps simulate photos and letters in the days before the internet.

19 Oct. 2017

iPhone users from the Baby Boomer generation can rejoice: Two apps can take them back to the analog age. Gudak from Korean startup Crew Bar.

As soon as the app is given permission to the phone’s camera, the user can take no more than 24 pictures – as many as used to fit on a small roll of film. Once the virtual film is full, users have to wait three days to see what they have snapped. Getting film developed used to take just about this long. Users receive a new roll of film every twelve hours. Those who give in to this slower pace learn to once again see with their own eyes, not just through the lens of their smartphone.

E-mails can also be slowed down artificially. For eight years, Kevin Wong from Hong Kong designed websites and apps commissioned by customers. At the end of 2016, he stopped in order to found Getslowly. The result: the Slowly app , which simulates the pen-pal system of old. Depending on the distance between the pen pals, the recipient may have to wait days to receive a letter – albeit a digital one. And it even arrives with a (virtual) stamp! Wong’s portal unites people across the world looking to take more time to write letters.