Inbox by Gmail isn't even yet a year old, but Google is trying to improve mail even further. But this time, it's not working with the digital variety. It's doing something about snail mail.

And frankly, it's about time. People have been sticking envelopes in mailboxes for a century or two, and the experience hasn't changed all that much. Our mailboxes could be better. They could be smarter.

They could be the Smartbox.

This box brings many of the luxuries of email to physical mail. Receive notifications on your phone whenever new envelopes arrive. Automatically organize content into folders. Block spam by delivering electric shocks (okay, your mail carrier probably won't like that one).

The Smartbox has a touchscreen built into its side, for those times you want to check the weather while you're already outdoors. The mail door opens on its own whenever you make a waving gesture, and owners can also detach the box from its pole and take it with them. This way your traditional mail is just as portable as your Gmail inbox.

Smartbox requires Inbox by Gmail. Google says to email [email protected] before April 2nd to receive an invite to both services. After that, there's probably a decent chance the Smartbox will become a thing of the past.