Australian postal service introduces video stamps

Australia has rolled out a new kind of stamp with a QR code that lets you record a personal video message to send with your package.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
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Video screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia

We're surprised, after Croatia introduced the QR code stamp last year, that the idea hasn't really taken off. After all, stamps are the perfect size and shape for the smartphone-scannable bar codes.

It's awesome to see Australia Post getting in on the action. Unlike the Croatian stamp, which was used to track the passage of mail across the globe, though, Australia Post's version -- called the Video Stamp -- lets you record a video message to send with your post. You can record 15 seconds of footage up to 12 hours after you have posted your item.

When recipients get the package, they can scan the stamp using their smartphone to receive whatever message you want to send. If the recipient doesn't have a smartphone, they can enter an eight-digit code on the Australia Post Web site to view the video.

The videos can be shared via social media, so you might want to be careful about what you record. They can be viewed for three months after recording, which lowers their collectibility a little, so philatelists might find them a little disappointing.

The stamps are now available for free with Express Post and Express Courier International products and are currently undergoing a trial for the holiday period. If they're successful, they'll be made available permanently. We're hoping to see a lot of videos of cute kittens doing silly things.

(Source: Crave Australia)