The Web-based service, optimized for the iPhone's Safari browser, causes messages and pictures to self-destruct.
BigString, which provides social networking messaging applications and user-controllable e-mail services, on Thursday launched a beta version of its e-mail service that allows users to self-destruct e-mails and pictures, making them as transient as phone conversations.
The service uses patent-pending technology that causes e-mail messages to self-destruct as soon as they leave the user's out-box.
The self-destruction happens Mission Impossible style, said Darin Myman, president and CEO of BigString, meaning users can see their messages or pictures literally burn on the screen. This provides a person with the comfort that the message is really gone.
So why would a person need to use such an e-mail service? BigString says archived e-mail messages cause too many mishaps where they can get into the wrong hands if stored for too long or pulled as evidence in situations that could have been avoided. It's like a record that never goes away.
The Web-based service has been optimized to work on the iPhone's Safari browser. But it also can be accessed on any Web-enabled mobile device.
"We're excited about the next generation of these mobile devices supporting our unique e-mail service that can put control back into the hands of the users," said Myman.
Since not everyone likes to wipe out their records immediately, BigString gives users the option to set a time before an e-mail is virtually shredded. An e-mail can self-destruct 15 seconds after being sent or up to a year later. Users can also recall or change their messages even after they've been opened, according to BigString.
After e-mail messages or pictures are sent through BigString, they cannot be forwarded, printed, or saved, whether the recipient reads them or not and regardless of the e-mail provider.
The service is expected to launch commercially in the next few months.
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