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Mon June 1 2009 13:30:34

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

The U.S. Postal Service has launched a "virtual simulator" on its website that allows people with a webcam to view a hologram of the various flat-rate boxes to see which one will fit their item the best. The web page is tied in with its advertising campaign and is designed to help educate consumers and businesses about Priority Mail flat-rate boxes.

A USPS spokesperson said, "With a web cam and a print-out from the site, a user can turn on the flat rate box virtual simulator and see a hologram of the various size boxes in front of them. They can then move the boxes around on the screen and see how big they are in relation to objects that they have on hand. The demo video shows how easy it is to do."

She recommended AuctionBytes readers check out the rest of the site too. "Most of your readers are quite savvy shippers, but for those not familiar with Priority Mail, it has great information on cost savings, online tools including simple quick tutorials how to use them, and other services."

The technology is pretty amazing, and other companies are using it as well. Check out this New York Times article from March, "Webcam Brings 3-D to Topps Sports Cards."






Comments (18) | Permalink

Readers Comments

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: More Crap from the post office

Mon Jun 1 13:55:16 2009

And you wonder why they lose MILLIONS every day? More lame brain ideas and junk selling INSTEAD of IMPROVING delivery service. You think a drive to a local Post office won'y give you the same demintions on their over-priced boxes? egads.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: Clayton

Mon Jun 1 17:23:12 2009

Yeah, have to say.... we just had 75 international packages from 1 week of shipping just "disappear."  Never made it out of Chicago.  Just crazy...

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: ebay = penny stock

Mon Jun 1 18:35:30 2009

If your post office is anything like the one I go to its a wonder anything gets done right.

Clerks can't read much less add.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: Ed

Mon Jun 1 19:00:52 2009

What is this, Bash the PO? Never had any problem w/ PO, and I use them where they fit best. There is no reason to ever actually go into the PO nowadays, you can do everything on line. As for service, same as FedEx and UPS, IMO. They've all had delivery issues with me at some point. You get what you pay for, and the PO is still a great deal.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: Linda

Mon Jun 1 20:02:11 2009

Wouldn't it just be easier to use a tape measure and select from the box dimensions listed on the USPS site?

Yes. I realize not everyone knows how to measure a box. It's kind of like the kid at McDonald's who can't count change.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: Just-an-Observation

Mon Jun 1 21:26:29 2009

The United States Post Office suffers from the same delusional illness that eBay (JD) suffers from - when business declines RAISE THE FEES! Again... and again... and again... and again...

I stopped using the USPS when some miserable, lazy 'w'itch behind the counter told me to take my packages to the larger regional post office *gasp* (can you believe that?!!).

After I told her ''as long as that sign outside the door says: United States Postal Service, you WILL accept all of my pre-paid packages.''

Needless to say, I took my business to UPS and Fedex - which now accounts for nearly 97% of my deliveries (with an occasional international) - and I save hundreds of dollars yearly on insurance alone!

Insurance is automatically included up to $100.00 via UPS and FedEx.

The outrageous fees the USPS charges on insurance is proof enough that they have little faith in their abilities to deliver packages to their correct destinations and without damage.

The USPS (like FeeBay) is putting themselves out of business.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: It's the sellers, stupid

Mon Jun 1 21:29:49 2009

On the one hand, our small town PO gives great personal service. Drive into the big city 25 miles down the road to their PO - and you begin to see why they attract so much automatic weapons fire.

On the other hand, it beggars the mind that they spent what has to be an ungodly amount of money to develop and promote this hologram gimmick. Especially amid the current financial and economic climate.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: voodoo

Mon Jun 1 22:05:58 2009

I live within 10 miles of 8 different post offices. Not one clerk has the intelligence to figure out the postage on a international flat rate envelope.

The problem with the post office is the same as with GM. UPPER management is so out of touch with reality. In fact Fleecebay fits into that catagory also.

In both stupidity breeds stupidity.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Jun 2 00:05:34 2009

I've had nothing but outstanding service and experiences with USPS.

Shipping my products are typically half the cost with USPS than they are with UPS, the trip to the PO 2/3 shorter, and customers receive their items 2-3 times faster than with UPS.

The Priority Mail specialist works with ebay sellers to prevent the kind of horror story fraud we read about on this blog.

With more than 42,000 ebay shipments, I've had ZERO lost packages, and every reported package not received was an international shipment that the customs label showed got 'lost' after it left this country.

The postal clerks actually get really nice Christmas gifts from ebay sellers because they provide such great service.

I recommend those unhappy with rising USPS rates check out the shipping costs in other country. USPS is still a bargain.

FWIW.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: hologram_guy

Tue Jun 2 10:38:16 2009

Another great example of Augmented Reality.  This stuff is showing up everywhere.  Even if you discount the practical value they are aiming for, it is great PR for the Post Office.  I work with holograms all day (diy hologram kit at litiholo.com) which is like Augmented Reality without the computer and webcam, but we are trying to figure out where the crossover is for our company as well.  Looks like the Post Office found some crossover of their own.  At least it shows they are thinking about the latest technologies available.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: Postmasters suck

Tue Jun 2 12:06:07 2009

USPS service is uneven, and they will back the tin plated dictators, postmasters all the way. My local postmaster lied to me, refused to give acceptance scans on OTC Delivery confirmation, as required by USPS regs & on their website. He lied, said he couldn't do it, and they backed him all the way, even though he had the tools to provide this service which I paid extra for. Instead, they removed the language about acceptance scans on usps.com to suit one lazy postmaster. I had to move to a different PO to get a service I was paying for. Nice, HUH? And they wonder why people dislike USPS workers. They back up these jerk postmasters, and say they can run their office anyway they want, causing inept & idiotic procedures which affect people's lives & businesses. Guaranteed civil service job for life, great pay & benefits, and you can tell your customers to take a hike, all OK with USPS bosses.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: Jeffrey Murray

Tue Jun 2 12:54:31 2009

I work with holograms also, and this is not a real hologram. It scares me a little that they want to use my camera and microphone and ''may'' record me. What kind of a program is this???
I also spent six years as a postal clerk, and what ''postmasters suck'' says was too true in my district. They lie, their supervisors back them up, management has no heart or social connectedness. It is a braindead culture that has hijacked the entire organization, a haven for the incompetent who seek petty power. Vets especially have a job for life, can't be fired, even when they verge on postal behavior. I have great respect for the actual workers - those who show up before sunrise and get the mail closer to where it's going. They are not treated by management as if they are all on the same team, there is class warfare, constant internal tension, and the idiots are in charge. I was in there sitting pretty, but I had to walk away one day, probably saved my life. Back to real holograms...

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: o.c.d.collectibles

Tue Jun 2 23:43:15 2009

The biggest problem I have with the USPS, and other service related companies, is that their business hours are only available when folks are at work. Go look around inside a post office during the afternoon. It's EMPTY!! no one using the PO then!

When people rush like hell to get to the PO by 5 PM, it's got a line so long, the place can't even fit the customers in!LOL!

What's wrong with this picture? The same thing that's wrong with banks! Open your doors in the evening, and you'll get tons of business!LOL!

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: fruity

Wed Jun 3 01:38:35 2009

first chance I get to cut USPS out of my hide I'm doing it. I'm disgusted at the fact that they're giving deep discounts to companies like ebay. how can ebay run a survey saying 15% off priority mail. Oh hail now, forget you USPS

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: Henrietta - RedInkDiary

Wed Jun 3 03:18:27 2009

Fruity

ANYONE who buys postage online instead of at the PO can get discounted rates. I get discounted through endicia and I am sure you can get the same rate using USPS ClickNShip or PP shipping.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: USPS is a joke

Wed Jun 3 10:32:20 2009

Yeah, Henrietta, but you get less service too. You have to deliver them to the back, where they may or may not be even acknowledged, and they will not offer acceptance scans, so good luck on insurance claims, which they may deny on shipping printed online. I am aware of SCAN forms, but many employees have no idea what they are. Why do employees at Walmart receive more training then USPS workers? I know the rules better than many of their own workers, and always have to help train newbies.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: Jackie

Wed Jun 3 13:20:25 2009

Yes,  for the most part, I have good service via post office.  I just wish they would decide how long it takes a package to get where,  and not promise the public it will take ten days,  when it will take 14,  and I get my star rating on e-bay lowered, etc.  Also,  if you go from one post office to another, things are different.  One clerk would not allow me to ship first class if it was over 8 ozs. when in fact, it is anything up to 13 ozs.  Also,  another would not allow me to ship books on CD, stating they had to be ''real books'' to go media mail.  I had to copy down the policies on usps.com and take them into the post office.  They then shipped the items, but always with an attitude, and when the ladies would see me coming with my 20 or so prepaid packages daily,  well...for some reason they did not seem happy to see me.  But,  now where I live, there are absolutely no problems,  very customer service oriented, great people.  I enjoy my trips in to see them every day.

USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms   USPS Meets Star Trek: Priority Mail Holograms

by: Ebay No More

Thu Jun 11 12:33:12 2009

The USPS can't figure out a way to have the postal carrier pick up my USPS Express mail packages and get them back to the post office before the deadline. Yet they waste thousands of dollars on this program? This helps me understand why it was necessary to switch to Fedex to receive decent customer service.



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