Blind Bargains

The Post Office May Now Scan your Mail for You, Leading to Potentially More Accessibility


A new USPS service may be able to scan your mail for you before it is delivered, potentially providing a more accessible way to read mail. The Informed Delivery service has been tested in several cities and is schedule for a nationwide roll-out on April 14.

Each morning, subscribers to the free service will be sent an Email with black and white scans of the outside of their letter-sized mail. Theoretically, these scans could be fed into an OCR program like FineReader or KNFB Reader for further processing and text readout. We have not been able to test the service for accessibility as of the time of this post.

The program is free but is currently limited to letter-sized mail and only available to residential addresses. To sign up, use the link above and enter your ZIP Code. Note that many more locations will be added on April 14 so if it's not available to you now, try again in a few days. You will be mailed a verification code which you must enter to use the service. This is done for security reasons to prove you really live at the address you are using to sign up.

Have you tried Informed Delivery? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: USPS
Category: News
Displaying 3 comments.
JEkis Tuesday, 04-Apr-2017 7:34 PM ET:

Unfortunately, the scanned images of the mail don't OCR Very Well at all. It might have improved since I tried it last month though. Keep in mind, you get images of all the mail sent to your address, not just what's addressed to you personally.


J.J. Tuesday, 04-Apr-2017 8:39 PM ET:

Which OCR program did you use it with?


darknexus Wednesday, 05-Apr-2017 08:58 AM ET:

Hmm, don't really see a point if we have to OCR the stuff anyway. Also, since they're not allowed to open it, all this would give you is potentially the address information on the outside of the envelope. You would still have to go through it and scan or take a picture of every envelope to know which one you're looking at in order to open the one you want.


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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.


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