Some institutions just can't get rid of the "fax" concept. Here we are, deep inside the internet era, where so much gets done almost instantaneously whether via email or the web, at a time when communication is purely digital and immediate, and yet banks and other organizations are demanding that you confirm things by actually dialing a phone line, stick some paper into some sort of scanner and listen to weird beeping sounds to confirm that your communication has gone through.
And yet, over the past few years we have seen the internet step into the world of fax as well. Personally I have been using the efax.com system for a long time and have been very satisfied. In essence the idea is that sending a fax should be as easy as sending an email message, and receiving it shouldn't require more than checking your email inbox.
Recently however this innovative way of using the old-fashioned fax system has once again been rejuvenated. You guessed it: there's an app for that...as well. I had occasion to test the efax iPhone app yesterday. I took a picture of a document with my iPhone camera and proceeded to send it as a fax straight from my iPhone. I did not expect much. Great was my surprise when I realised that the fax came in as an extremely clear document, certainly not worse than had I sent it through a fax machine the old fashioned way.
So then once again we are in a position to take old technology, one that will clearly die off in the coming years only to be replaced by something way more exciting and new, and give it a new twist. Suddenly every person with a smartphone in his pocket becomes a walking fax machine, and one that, maybe surprisingly, works quite well.