Chattanooga-made application merges tech, handwritten letters

Authored By Chloé Morrison

Chattanooga company Pale Dot Voyage recently teamed up with Colorado entrepreneur Tomer Alpert to blend technology with old-school letter writing.

The result is a new iPad application-called Felt-that allows the user to send a personalized, handwritten note without the hassle of envelopes, stamps and the post office. 

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The Felt experience 

“There’s so much via Twitter and Facebook,” David Littlejohn, creative director and founder of Pale Dot Voyage, said Tuesday. “You miss the day when you get a simple note [in the mail].”

Users can write a personal message in their own handwriting and address the card using the tablet’s touchscreen. Felt then prints, seals, stamps and sends the card. 

The app has several tools, such as different pens, inks and an eraser. And users can choose different card designs and then use their finger or a stylus to write a message. 

Littlejohn said using a stylus will likely allow the writing to look more like the user’s handwriting, and eventually, his team wants to make it more convenient to purchase one, possibly by selling them through the product’s Web page, he said. 

For a flat rate of $3.99, Felt prints the card on Mohawk cardstock and combines it with a kraft paper envelope. Then, the note is stamped and mailed within 24 hours via the United States Postal Service. 

The team sort of guessed at what would be a reasonable fee for the product, and the $3.99 charge is enough for the creators to make a profit, Littlejohn also said. 

Pale Dot Voyage launched in 2012, and employees have been working on building up the company’s portfolio. The company’s website explains that the company isn’t a traditional business. It’s a hybrid, a “digital bakery.”

Through the company, Littlejohn works with clients on digital marketing and creating applications, among other things. 

Alpert brought the idea to Pale Dot Voyage, and Littlejohn developed the product and worked with partners to create everything from the name and branding to the video. 

“We wanted to make it really intuitive and enjoyable,” he said. “We wanted to make an experience that was as seamless and enjoyable as writing a card to a friend.”

Currently, the app is only available on the iPad, but the team is working toward making it work with Android tablets. They have considered the iPhone option, but that device is almost too small for it to be easy to write on, Littlejohn said. 

The app can be downloaded for free. 

And even though the cards are created with an iPad, the personal touch is still there-that’s the goal, Alpert said.

“When someone receives one in the mail, it looks just like you wrote it with a pen and paper,” Alpert said in a prepared statement. “And they can tell you really took the time to do something thoughtful.”