Pixily lets small businesses and individuals send paper documents by mail in a Netflix style envelope, then scans, uploads to Amazon S3 and lets you search them in 3 to 5 days. It's the kind of service that big companies spend a lot of money on, now made affordable enough for anyone.New startup
Boston Globe writer Scott Kirsner tested the service last week and saw even faster turn around - his documents were available on the Pixily website in one day and returned to him in paper form in two days after sending them. That's pretty awesome.
Keeping Costs Low
Pixily offers subscription plans from $5 to $60 per month, for your first 50 to 200 pages mailed in and with 1,000 to 12,000 pages of storage. All stored documents are made available in PDF format, so there shouldn't be any concern about losing them if you cancel your subscription.
This is the kind of service that cloud computing makes possible. The Amazon Web Services blog has a brief description of how Pixily uses multiple AWS offerings to keep their prices low.
Trusting People With Your Mail
The "mixed media" nature of this company, combining real world and digital, is one of the things that makes it so interesting. There are other services like this but each are a little different. See also Earth Class Mail, which intercepts your mail before it gets to you and lets you sort it online and Scribd's Paper to iPaper service, which is free, takes its sweet time in scanning your documents and then serves ads next to them online.
Are you willing to send important paper documents to a startup company online? Privacy and security could definitely be a big concern. We are quite interested to see how Pixily works and will report back after spending some time with our new subscription.
You can watch a 5 minute screencast about Pixily here.