Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "hong-kong"

Our friend Iris (aka scrutiny) from Hong Kong has an amazing radar for postal-themed links and projects. A while ago, she showed us these local stamps and they are so cool that we wanted to share them with you too!

Hong Kong augmented reality stamps

The stamps themselves feature historical buildings from Hong Kong, which are being revitalised as part of an ongoing campaign to “enhance public understanding and appreciation of the built heritage in Hong Kong”. But what makes them special is that when hovered with a smartphone using the HKPostStamps app, the stamps gain a whole other dimension!

Iris filmed this video to show everyone:

While not being the first use of augmented reality in philately, it’s certainly a very interesting one. Each building’s rendering includes interactive hotspots, which bring up more information when you touch them on the smartphone screen such as opening hours, website links, and photos. I think that’s pretty neat — how often do you get to hold an historical building in your hands? 😊

Thank you Iris, for taking the time to show us! And if anyone knows of other interesting philatelic issues, share them in the comments — we’re always curious about stamp innovations.


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Meet Iris from Hong Kong. Teacher and student who loves theater, books and much more!

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

A few years ago, I was looking to start new hobbies, which ended up being old hobbies revisited! I recalled my love of writing letters as a child and started seeking for penpals. While I was browsing the penpal site Interpals, I came across a profile that mentioned Postcrossing and naturally, I was intrigued. I visited the site and in a blink of an eye, I was hooked. I collected a few postcards as a child and used them to decorate my room, but I didn’t take collecting seriously until I came across Postcrossing. To this day, I don’t consider myself a collector. The person who’s sending it and the message on the back can sometimes mean more than the card alone. Blank, pristine, unwritten cards, even if they’re pretty or rare, are great, but what makes them truly unique are the words written on them and the sentiment they express, or the moment in time they capture.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

One of the greatest loves in my life, apart from my obsession with snail mail, is theatre. I have worked in a backstage capacity since I was 13 years old. Again, it was an instant passion; I loved it from the first moment I stepped on my secondary school stage. I really love the idea of helping craft a piece of art without being seen. In a way, a play or a musical is like a postcard. It has a time and a place. The character of a postcard comes from the inscription, and the setting is in the picture. Both tell a story.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!

When I started postcrossing, I put my postcards in photo albums and stored them on the shelf.

scrutiny albums

But I realised I don’t like this, as I can’t touch or hold my postcards properly this way. I am just beginning to file and store them in a box.

scrutiny postcards

I also have a CD stand by the side of my table which holds my most recently received postcards, which I haven’t filed away yet.

scrutiny CD stand

I am seriously considering investing in a proper rotating postcard rack, like the ones you find standing outside souvenir shops, so that I can browse through my cards at any time!

Here is my mailbox where I receive my mail and a photo of me posting some postcards.

scrutiny mailbox scrutiny mailbox

Here is my local post office

scrutiny postoffice

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

This is the most difficult question to answer, since there are too many to choose from. I really love this Mona Lisa light switch cover card from Roelof in The Netherlands because it describes me to a T – classic with a touch of irreverence; serious and funny at the same time. I had such a good laugh when I received this card, and it still makes me smile.

scrutiny favourite
Have you met any other members in real life?

We recently held the first ever Hong Kong Postcrossing meeting in August 2010, and eight of us met. It was really nice to meet other postcrossers in Hong Kong! Other postcrossers I have met are kasi0408 and Markus_from_Finland when I was in London in 2008. I was also very lucky to meet Ana and Paulo when they were visiting Hong Kong a few years ago!

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

I am passionate about education and literacy. I really believe that a formal education should not simply focus on forming the students’ ability to pass exams, but to equip them with life skills. I am a tertiary level teacher and I volunteer with the local chapter of Bring Me a Book, an international charity that focuses on making good books accessible to underprivileged children and encourages the strengthening of parent-child bonds through reading aloud. As a child, I read voraciously by myself and with my mother. I know this really helped form my character, as well as giving me a lifelong hobby and skill.


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