TORONTO - Whether it is a heartfelt note to a loved one or a thank-you letter following a job interview, new apps are aiming to revive the tradition of handwritten notes with a high-tech twist.
Bond Gifts, a free app for iPhones, lets users write a digital message that is converted into a handwritten note. A robot called Giles at the company's New York headquarters writes the letter with a fountain pen on embossed stationery.
The note is then sent in the mail, complete with a wax seal, to the recipient.
"People might think about writing a note, but very few people actually do it," said Mr Sonny Caberwal, founder and chief executive officer of Bond Gifting, which created the app.
Each handwritten note costs US$5 (S$6.20).
The app also sells and sends gifts, such as books and candles, with a handwritten note within the United States. It also keeps track of birthdays and special events.
Felt, an app for the iPad, also sends handwritten notes and lets users select from multiple designs, pen styles and ink colours.
Mr Tomer Alpert, the chief executive of the Telluride, Colorado-based company, said he got the idea for the app after driving home from a dinner party. He wanted to send a thank-you card but was too tired to stop to find one.
Other apps converted text to computer-generated cursive font, but did not use people's actual handwriting, according to Mr Alpert.
"There wasn't a simple option to hand-write your card and hand-address the envelope, and just let someone else deal with the stamps," he explained.
With Felt, users write their message on the iPad and it is printed in their own handwriting on the card. The notes, available only in the US, cost US$3.99 each.