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See How Your Mail and Packages Move, Thanks to This Clever Hidden Camera Video

The idea was brilliant and simple: Stick a small camera facing outward in a box and mail it around Denmark

by Derek Mead
Apr 11 2013, 4:00pm

Like it or not, logistics rule our world today. Whether it's shipping goods back and forth between US and China or receiving a package from one of Amazon's enormous warehouses, the world's economy (and brick-and-mortar stores) is powered by goods being moved around at the direction of databases and computers.

But unless you're one of the people scanning hundreds of boxes in the middle of the night in a locked Target (as I once did), you may never actually see the systems of conveyor belts, barcodes, and robotic pallet jacks in motion. When you once asked a store employee to help get you something off the top shelf, now you sit at home and wait for some item to be boxed up, scanned, and moved over and over until it makes it to your doorstep.

That hidden concert of systems is fascinating, and why I enjoyed this video from Ruben van der Vleuten so much. His idea was brilliant and simple: Stick a small camera facing outward in a box and mail it around Denmark. The result, which took a bit of luck, is a wonderful inside look of the complicated route a parcel takes from door to door.

It's also a rather clever way to chart the inner workings of Denmark's mail system. While van der Vleuten assuredly set up the project out of curiosity, I can't help but wonder how such an effort would go over here in the US.

Considering that cameras are increasingly being banned in all kinds of realms in the US, usually under the guise of some counter-terror effort, I'd hardly be surprised if authorities flipped shit over a similar project in the US. And sure, there are privacy and security concerns inherent to a project like this for any post office or shipping company.

But with logistics ruling everything around us, and firms like Amazon still having trouble with their mostly-faceless employees, shining light on the industry's warehouses and shipping center is an important task. Plus, you know, it's a good way to see if you're box is being tossed about.