Designer sends hidden camera in the mail, records process

What happens between sending a package and its arrival at the destination? A Dutch designer dropped a hidden camera in the mail to find out.

Ruben van der Vleuten

When you mail a package, where does it go? Who handles it? How many steps are there in the process of it leaving point A and arriving at point B? Anyone who has mailed a package may have at some point at least idly wondered what happens to it after the post office takes responsibility, but not many have done something about it.

Dutch industrial and interaction designer Ruben van der Vleuten has. When his curiosity was piqued, he decided to mail himself a hidden camera to find out.

For a project titled From A to B, he packed a small camera into a box with a battery pack and an Arduino-controlled timer circuit and motion sensor. The camera peeked out of a small, 2-millimetre hole concealed in large black letters van der Vleuten had written on one side of the box.

The inside of the box containing the controller circuit, battery, and camera. Ruben van der Vleuten
A close-up of the camera hole. Ruben van der Vleuten

The motion sensor detected when the box was moving and started recording continuously. When the box was stationary, the timer was set to record 3 seconds of footage every minute, to eliminate long stretches of time in which nothing happened.

The box then recorded its entire journey: from van der Vleuten taking it to the Post Danmark post office; the post office taking it to its distribution center, where it was sorted for delivery; and finally, its trip from the distribution centre to ven der Vleuten's front door.

(Source: Crave Australia via HackADay)

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