Thursday, December 22, 2016

Track Your Packages... with an Ornament from the United States Postal Service

USPS Ornament.jpg
Ever wonder where you packages are?  Me too.  I usually sign up for all the text messaging stuff I can get, just so I know when things leave the warehouse, get to the shippers facility, etc.
Now comes a great new idea from the United States Postal Service.  The ornament shown above will track your packages for you and let’s you know the status by changing colors.  Blue means sent, Red means delivered, and Green means opened.  Evidently there is some type of RFID tracking chip in the box that can tell this status.  The chip in the box communicates with the ornament.
You buy a box from USPS and the ornament is in the box already preset to communicate with the chip inside the box.
I haven’t found out how the chip & ornament communicate, but you plug the ornament in either to a string of lights on your tree or an outlet on the wall.  It comes with a stand if you don’t want it on the tree.  Once USPS logs your box to be shipped into their system, the tracking begins.
A cool idea, if I understand correctly, this thing will only work once & with one package which seems a bit wasteful to me.
As things continue to evolve in the world of “The Internet of Things” I’m sure we’ll continue to see things like this and major improvements on these types of things.  For the record, I’m betting that Amazon has something in their skunkworks that makes this thing look like a TinkerToy, but that’s just me.
The ornaments are in limited supply this year, but should be readily available for next year’s holiday season.

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