I’m watching the words appear on the page, and I’m freaking out. It’s a note for my mother in my handwriting, yes, but it’s not being written by me. It’s being written by a robot holding a fountain pen. An algorithm has reverse engineered my penmanship and the robot can now reproduce my writing with all of the same quirks of my real chicken scratch.
This is Bond. Used by celebrities, CEOs, and nonprofits, it’s a robo writing service that I couldn’t fully believe existed until I worked my way down into the company’s basement floor and saw hundreds of machines lined up, each writing in a different script. The promise? Send a perfectly thoughtful handwritten letter without taking the time to actually write it, an appealing proposition for anyone with too many people to thank with too little time–but a shameful exploitation of technology for anyone writing a card to mom.
Ultimately, Bond is an amazing case study in over-engineering. Because if Bond is anything, it’s less a perfect solution for those who don’t have time to send handwritten notes than it is the perfect visualization of humanity on the edge of its own obsolescence.