Postal service’s Informed Delivery feels psychic

I know what’s coming in the mail this afternoon.

Yup. It’s true. An ad from a dentist; a bill from a credit-card company; a letter from a long-lost buddy.

It’s great to be psychic.

And also to have Informed Delivery.

Perhaps you have heard of this glimpse into the future from the United States Postal Service. It’s very helpful — and free, too.

Our story begins in 2014, when the postal service was struggling to keep mail in the battle with electronic messages. The test program was called Real Mail Notification, and it worked by sending black-and-white pictures of that day’s incoming missives to the user’s electronic device.

In 2015, the pilot program that started in Northern Virginia, was expanded into the New York area. It was so well received that in 2016 it was rolled out nationwide under the name Informed Delivery.