US Postal Service Offers AR App With Packages

US Postal Service Offers AR App With Packages
December 17, 2016

The U.S. Postal Service wants to make gift giving just a little more magical.


The postal service has released a free augmented reality smartphone app a la Pokémon Go, just with a little less competition and a little more holiday cheer. 


In order to use the app, you need to pick up one of the postal service's Priority Mail boxes. Senders can choose between two different animated messages: a reindeer in Christmas tree lights or a penguin accompanied by other wildlife near an igloo.


“Our app adds that special touch by delivering cheer when mailing and receiving holiday gifts via Priority Mail,” USPS Chief Customer and Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President James Cochrane said in a statement. 


The app is easy to use. Recipients can download it from the official USPS website and then scan the blue "track and insured" shield on the side of the Priority Mail package. 

The app also lets receivers take a photo or video with the experience so they can save and send it. They can also create a "Thank you" message and include an animated snowman or gingerbread characters. 


This isn't the first time the postal service has added augmented reality to shipping. Last holiday season, the service launched a Peanuts-themed app. 


It's expected to be a busy mailing season. The postal service anticipates delivering more than 16 billion items, including 750 million packages, this season. The deliverer says it will see a 12 percent increase in package volume, the fifth consecutive annual bump. 

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