Dec. 17 - UK startup firm Touchnote has launched a new application for Apple and Android devices that allows people to create personalized Christmas cards using a novel Facebook integration. Hayley Platt reports.
UPSOUND "The seasonal hunt has begun in the shops, Christmas cards are scanned for something that's different to greet absent friends." It's a tradition which began in Britain in the 1840's. However in recent years many have chosen to send e cards instead. Now a new App which combines technology and printing aims to help reverse the declining trend. Mike and Linda Thomson are using Touchnote to send family aboard a photo card - made of real paper. Within seconds of taking a snap it's re-designed as a greeting card. The following day it's printed and sent on its way. SOUNDBITE: Mike Thomson, Touchnote customer, saying (English): "It shows that you care a bit more, it's just a bit more personable. It's something that family members will stick up on their firesides, put up on the wall and refer back to and appreciate rather than something that's stuck away on a laptop that they never see or open." A recent survey by Royal Mail showed that 80 percent of people prefer traditional cards to e cards. And 25 percent said they would be making a bigger effort to send them this Christmas. Touchnote hopes to sell a record number of cards this year - Raam Thakrar is its co-founder. SOUNDBITE: Raam Thakrar, co-founder Touchnote.com, saying (English): "We communicate in a very digital way but the problem with that is there's a slight lack of substance to it. We don't have things that we can hold, that last forever. What we're doing is bringing something back that does last forever. These are the memories that you will hold forever." Each greeting costs £1.49 and you don't even have to provide an address. Using Facebook, the App will notify your friends that you wish to send them a card and prompt them for their address. With more and more people complaining social media is isolating them rather than uniting them, Touchnote believes there'll be signficant demand for this new take on a time-honoured tradition.