Internet of Things (IoT) & Blockchain Distributed Ledger Technology: What's The Future Hold?

Blockchain Technologies Driving The Reality of IoT (Internet of Things)

When most people think of blockchain, they only think of it in terms of cryptocurrency. Yet, there’s so much more to the technology. One of those potential uses is in the Internet of Things (IoT).

Imagine a world where all your devices, life, home and cars are connected. Imagine a scenario in which you’ve had a long day, and are 50 meters from your garage and its doors automatically open, so you can drive in.

As you drive in, the door automatically unlocks itself, the lights come on based on the time of the day, and your air conditioning automatically kicks in. While you’re undressing, your and taking a bath, your microwave heats up your dinner to the perfect temperature, and as you approach the bathroom, the shower automatically starts running.

When you’re done having your bath, and eating dinner, the lights in your room automatically dim to your preferred brightness, and as you slip into the bed, the lights turn themselves off.

This is what the Internet of Things offers –a world where everything about you is connected, thus making your life easier and process of running it, seamless.

While lots of tech companies are working on the Internet of Things without using blockchain, there are others who believe blockchain will play a key role in the future of IoT. These companies have even developed certain products and platforms to help with that. We’ll explore those very shortly. In the meantime, let’s look at the impact that IoT can have on our lives.

Possible IoT Scenarios And Examples

Wearable Tech

Wearable tech devices include Fitbits, sleep monitors, pulse rate monitors, blood sugar detectors, pedometers and any other device that’s designed for daily use and used to provide data on certain key parts of your life.

It is possible that the integration of blockchain in the IoT will most likely start from a wearable device that acts as a sensor of sorts.

Wearables are currently doing a lot and becoming even more powerful, thanks to cloud computing and more subtle designs. This makes them inconspicuous and discreet.

Understandably, their increased data gathering power has led to privacy concerns among current and intending users. However, this shouldn’t be an issue once blockchain powered wearables become common.

In fact, it is possible that wearables running on blockchain tech might become very popular soon. Blockchain by its very nature, is decentralized, privacy driven and encryption based.

So, when all these data are collected by a wearable device powered by blockchain, the owner knows only he/she and those they decide to share the information with has the information.

With the device, one can easily control a lot of items in the home and office space, thus making sure that your environment responds to you according to set preferences.

Connectivity Everywhere

The integration of blockchain can be used everywhere, really. For instance, with connected devices, a DJ can read the “temperature” of the room and automatically queue songs matching the audience’s excitement levels.

The same goes for shopping at a local store. All purchases can be synced to your wearable and the total amount automatically deducted from the card or bank details on file, thus ensuring that you never have to stand in a checkout line anymore.

Another scenario in which the blockchain powered tech can connect to everything and everywhere is in the manufacturing sector.

Everything can be connected so that line managers or supervisors don’t have to be present to see if the machines are working effectively and efficiently. With a display device, he can read the “health” of the machines, dispatching repair instructions immediately.

This way, the company can ensure there’s never any form of downtime. The same goes for product quality. Instead of randomly selecting a product on the line as is currently done, the quality control or product manager can simply scan for defective products randomly.

Another example is in the real estate sector. Instead of a realty agent being present for a house showing, interested buyers can simply get a device that gives them a virtual tour of the house, and once they like the house, they can simply tap a button on their device that indicates their interest to buy.

Once they do that, smart contracts will automatically kick in, they’ll get a notice to verify they want the place, and upon agreeing, their bank account will be debited, and codes to the house locks dispatched to their phones once the payment is verified.

All of these can take place under 10 minutes as against the bureaucratic process, red tapes and escrow issues that can take as long as 10 business days before the buyer gets his house keys.

When it comes to the interconnectivity of all things, there’s really no limit to how much blockchain can contribute.

IoT Security Risks And Blockchain

The Internet of Things is bound to usher in a new era of productivity and seamless living that will make our lives immensely easier, freeing up our time and mind for only the most important tasks.

But, all this connectivity will create one issue: security vulnerabilities. In a connected home for instance, the house is only as strong as its weakest link. So, if a hacker can access one of your systems, they can potentially access everything and take over your life and home.

Nevertheless, with the aid of blockchain and its decentralized, high encryption tech, this will be almost impossible. If your home’s connectivity is on the blockchain platform, it’s going to be difficult for a hacker to get through. Blockchain is going to be the bulletproof firewall that will keep the “baddies” at bay.

There have already been instances of hackers hacking through a network, identifying all connected devices and propagating executing malicious across the network. With blockchain, that will be impossible to do, considering that each node or device will be encrypted, self-sufficient and independently secured cryptographically.

Blockchain Projects With IoT Relevance

While blockchain is still in its infancy and hasn’t been adopted by traditional IoT companies, some smart companies are anticipating this need and are already creating products and solutions designed to fill those gaps.

IOTA

This platform was solely created with the IoT in mind. It is a powerfully optimized distribution ledger dedicated to enabling and accelerating the interaction between machines without the need for a third party. Thus, effectively eliminating middlemen and ensuring a closed system where people’s private details can be safe, secure and encrypted.

Waltonchain

This is a predominantly Asian driven blockchain project designed to integrate RFID tech and blockchain in the supply chain management industry, thus creating a seamless flow of processes that will transform the landscape of the global supply industry.

Conclusion on Internet of Things (IoT) & Blockchain

As blockchain becomes even more commonplace and the technology advances, the world will be reliant on it to act as the bridge/buffer between IoT, artificial intelligence and the rest of the world.

With it properly integrated, redundancies will be eliminates across industries and companies, resulting in an ultra-efficient workplaces, economies, industries, homes, vehicles, governments and individuals. We’re on the verge of a global industrial revolution unlike anything in history, and blockchain will be playing a key role.

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