Why was the U.S. Postal Service at CES?

As the U.S. government shutdown was about to become the longest on the record and many employees missed their paychecks Friday, U.S. Postal Service workers were roaming around a Las Vegas convention center hocking a smart mailbox.

The post office has been exhibiting at CES, the largest annual tech conference, for nearly two decades, including at the 2019 show, where the national mail carrier showed off its “Informed Delivery” system, an online service and app that lets registered users view grayscale images of incoming letters before they are delivered to their mailboxes. The agency also showed off a “connected home mailbox” capable of providing “capacity alerts” and delivery notices.

An announcer speaking on a microphone encouraged visitors to stop by the booth and check out the smart mailbox that “turns the conventional home mailbox into a smart device” and represents “the future of mail delivery.” She told business attendees that they could come by and learn more about ways to reach their customers. The post office exhibited in a vast booth featuring large digital displays as well as a joystick-enabled game that let users navigate a maze of virtual packages and try to accumulate the most before time expires.

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