Imagine driving up to a postal box right outside your local United States Postal Service (USPS) building ready to send a package back home for your mother’s birthday. You’re about to put the package in the box, but then you remember something very important; you forgot a stamp. With the new voice stamps, mail delivery will transition to a stamp-less environment. This article will give you the details about the new program and when you can expect to see it near you.
Voice Stamps: What Are They (And Why Should I Care)?
For someone who has lived their whole life putting stamps on mail and packages before sending them to the far reaches of the globe, a world without stamps seems far-fetched. The obvious questions would be “How do these work?”
Voice stamps refer to a smart blue box that would be attached to the top of traditional mail receptacles across the country. These “smart” boxes would be able to provide many different services via integration with the latest artificial intelligence, solar panels for self-sufficiency, and even the ability to talk and interact with customers. The smart box would address issues at all steps of the mailing process.
Before putting your package in the USPS box, the smart box can tell you if a mail carrier has already collected, saving customers from the worry of having their packages sit overnight. Packages can be inserted and the smart box will weigh and print a label that replaces traditional stamps. Finally, the last step of the mailing process occurs when the recipient receives the package; the smart box, if asked, can tell customers the anticipated delivery date.
For those who still prefer the more traditional, human interaction centered way to send packages, these smart boxes can be used to weigh and calculate postage and then direct customers to the nearest location where postage can be purchased.
Here’s a short video explaining the whats, whys, and hows of voice stamps:
With a product that promises so much, the most pressing question is “When can the public expect this futuristic program to begin?”
When Can We Expect to See these Smart Blue Boxes?
The general public would expect this program to be a directive of the United States Postal Service, an organization that has made quantum leaps forward in recent years to avoid becoming obsolete in a market full of delivery companies. However, as forward-thinking as the USPS may be, this new program actually is due to a partnership between the postal service and MRM/McCann, a New York advertising group.
Tests of the voice stamps have already been underway with a few videos being posted to YouTube; however, several key steps have not yet been accomplished and so a release date is very uncertain. A group called the Postal Regulatory Commission is the gatekeeper of all things “new” in governmental postage and so they must approve this revolutionary device. However, although tests have been successful, MRM/McCann has not yet filed with the commission, meaning implementation could be much farther out than anticipated. Although this may take a few years, until then, keep an eye out for tests of this technologically-savvy device at your local postal service location.
Technology keeps the world connected and smart boxes that utilize these voice stamps will be no different. Voice stamps will increase postal efficiency while reducing hassle throughout the whole mailing process. This partnership between the USPS with an advertising company should expedite the testing process, and we may even begin to use voice stamps very soon. To stay up-to-date on more news like this, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.