real snail mail

real snail mail

It’s nice working in an environment that can produce something like this. I remember vaguely talking to one of the people behind this earlier in the year and while I thought it sounded like a fun idea, that was about it. Who’d’ve thought that the project by Boredom Research (via the National Centre for Computer Animation at Bournemouth University) would end up covered by so many people.

If you’re unfamiliar with ‘Real Snail Mail’, it’s basically this:

An e-mail is sent to a tank containing snails fitted with RFID chips. If and when a snail wanders by the e-mail collection site, its RFID chip will pick up the message. Then, if and when that snail wanders by the drop-off point in another area of the tank, the e-mail will be delivered (at that point, via the Internet, of course).

Genius! I believe it’s just had it’s proper exhibition at siggraph 08 but the snails have been hard at work for months now, with varying success. You can check the progress of each ‘agent’ (and add your own message!) at the official site – Real Snail Mail.