In Spike Jonze’s “Her,” Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with his operating system, Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johannson), in a world that’s clearly set in the future, but not impossible to believe could soon exist.
As the film opens, we see Phoenix sitting at a desk, narrating a love story, the words transcribed to look like a handwritten letter on the computer.
Phoenix works for a company called “Handwritten Greeting Cards,” a business that, naturally, seems to have disrupted the act of writing your own letters to your own loved ones.
While outsourcing a corporation to take care of something so intimate would have seemed crazy even just a few years ago, it almost seemed believable while watching the film.
In a “Wow, I can’t believe we don’t have that yet!” kind of way.
What makes “Her” so great (and perhaps uncomfortable to watch) is that the technology represented in the film is simultaneously foreign and familiar. We don’t have an operating system we could fall in love with, but we do have Siri. We may not have a company devoted to writing personal letters to our loved ones, but we do have an app on the personal computers we carry with us that lets us do it without the “trouble” of buying a card and a stamp at the store.
Inkly came out in 2012 and lets you send digital greeting cards using your own handwriting or one of 30 preset fonts.
Here’s how it works:
Write your message using a regular piece of paper and and a pen.
Take a photo of it using the Inkly Cards app.
The app will then scan the paper taking just your handwritten message and pop it on the inside of your card. You can choose from hundreds of cards. I wrote this for my mum:
Then you do the same for your envelope, pay for the card (around $US3), and a real card with your real handwriting is delivered to its intended recipient.