The U.S. Postal Service Is Getting into the 'Wearable Electronics' Business?
Yes, you read that headline right. Strapped for cash and obviously desperate, the United States Postal Service is launching a new line of "' smart apparel' — also known as wearable electronics ." The mailmen-turned-fashionistas will call the new line Rain Heat & Snow, first for men and later for women, and while it's unclear exactly how smart the apparel gets, reports suggest that you'll be able to plug your iPod into your new Postal Service jacket. The agency's licensing manager, Steven Mills, says that the new line "will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion." Which is basically true. When was the last time you plugged your iPod into your jacket? That said, when was the last time you used an iPod? Or the U.S. Postal Service?
It's hard to not to give the old USPS a slow clap for this one. It would be one thing if the Postal Service wanted to sell some t-shirts and Dad ties with pictures of stamps on them — they actually tried that back in the 80s, and it didn't work — but it sounds like they're actually going after serious outerwear brands like North Face and Burton Snowboards with this one. It's unclear if the Postal Service can keep up, though. Burton, for one, has a head start, since it partnered with Motorola and released a Bluetooth-enabled snowboarding jacket with a matching, headphone studded beanie back in 2005. The geeks at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) loved it, called it " space age. " The Postal Service, by contrast, opted not to take the fancy brand-name strategy, instead teaming up with the Cleveland-based Wahconah Group. You might know them from their Legends line of men's clothing, but you probably don't.