Hong Kong-based telecommunication company China Mobile is exploring the integration of blockchain technology to regular household appliances, including a blockchain-powered water purifier.
Led by the company’s Internet of Things (IoT) division, the water purifier comes built with both an IoT module as well as a computing chip that allows the device to connect to the internet without wifi. Like most other networks of devices, the product is capable of exchanging data vis-à-vis human behavior, which would prove useful for both suppliers as well as manufacturers.
However, what sets this device apart from all other IoT appliances is its reward system that incentivizes users for providing their data. As China Mobile IoT product market director Xiao Yi explained, consumers will earn the PWMC blockchain token based on the product’s usage frequency. The token can then be used for either purchasing other products or for replacement filters.
Aside from incentivizing consumers, Xiao also underscored that:
“Our goal is to also attract those who are not in the cryptocurrency or blockchain community, who may have heard of this technology but not necessarily understand it. To embrace a more mainstream adoption, we need to turn something that appears professional into something that’s very ordinary.”
While the device is still in its infancy and roughly ready for mass production, the water purifier is already available through the Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com’s month-long crowdfunding campaign, which aims to raise about $30,000 by January 21.
The crowdfunding initiative is led by Guangzhou-based company Chain Infinity, a firm founded through a previous partnership between China Mobile’s IoT unit and two Chinese blockchain startups, Jingtum and MOAC.
Initially announced in 2017, the project was piloted not only to introduce a device that incentivizes user participation but also for the company to explore the nascent technology’s ability to record tamper-proof data.
As Xiao further detailed, these data will be recorded a public blockchain called SWTC, a network anchored on the Byzantine fault tolerance consensus algorithm launched by Jingtum.