In a world in which the communication is every day more digital and virtual, you would say that the traditional Postal Service is going to slow down its service. This is not the opinion of the USPS Inspector General, who thinks actually the opposite: even if the traditional postal services are required less often, a virtual world is making us used to faster services to be plenty satisfied.
From here the idea of using Augmented Reality to improve mail processing, delivery and customer experience. Some of you, reading this, will be very surprised: how to use one of the most avant-garde technologies to do one of the oldest jobs? In the report that the Inspector General presented, there are ten answers to your question, ten ways that Augmented Reality can be used to deliver a better experience to the USPS clients:
- Provide more accurate spatial information and assist with visualization when placing processing equipment in a plant.
- Direct employees to needed items in a stockroom, reducing employee training and work time.
- Direct employees to stored items ready for shipment, as DHL recently piloted with positive results.
- Guide letter carriers to pack trucks in a way that maximizes capacity while also protecting fragile items.
- Assist postal employees when performing maintenance on unfamiliar or new vehicles by displaying step-by-step instructions.
- Provide driving directions to letter carriers, helping them avoid traffic congestion or other hazards.
- Provide critical route information to new or substitute carriers about the location of hazards, hard-to-find mailboxes, or interior offices.
- Confirm the identity of recipients using AR facial recognition technology.
- Help customers determine what size box they need.
- Allow recipients to estimate when their carrier will arrive.
As you can read, the advantages will be for both the Postal Service employees and the clients: the first ones saving time in the process of loading, unloading and searching for mail and packages, the second ones having more information while preparing and sending their mail and during the delivery.
Now the project has been presented: the next step will be the evaluation by USPS of the “operational feasibility and financial viability” of the introduction of Augmented Reality in the service.