One of the world’s largest retailer has applied for a patent that involves blockchain technology and smart appliances. This patent can lead to lots of speculation about ways of integrating Blockchain technology into home appliances which will benefit the masses. The patent application can be viewed by clicking here.
Operating over 4000 stores in the U.S. alone, Walmart could have a serious impact on mass adoption of Blockchain technology, whilst also expanding the use case and improving many people’s security, in the process. With a total revenue of over $450 billion a year, this demonstrates the demand for products from Walmart stores and shows the reach that Walmart has to consumers. Additionally, the chain also owns Asda in the UK, a company renowned for being an affordable “superstore”, featuring home goods, clothing and food. Asda has over 500 stores across the UK, providing for further outreach if Walmart chose to expand the Blockchain technology usage to the UK.
The application conveys plans of managing smart appliances like computers, laptops and consoles. Devices will contain private keys that are required for transactions. Many use cases can arise from this kind of implementation, one of which being a fully automated delivery system, as outlined in the application for the patent. A kiosk could be obtained by a user and that user could be wearing a smartwatch or some sort of similar device, containing the private keys that are essential for a transaction. Said kiosk would then be able to connect with the user’s device and added to the distributed ledger, then the kiosk could be used as a home delivery station and added as a device in the distributed ledger management system. The delivery system can work in cooperation with drones, to deliver the item to the recipient
“a kiosk used for controlled receipt of packages, such as those packages delivered autonomously via unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or automated guided vehicle (AGV). In this illustrative example, a user may obtain a kiosk and add the newly obtained kiosk to the distributed ledger structure utilizing their smart device to provision and/or authorize the kiosk. In one example, the user device may be a wearable device that maintains the private key used to authorize the transaction. The kiosk may sync with the user device and be automatically provisioned as a home delivery station and added as a device in the distributed ledger management system. A user may configure customized levels of access and/or control for the kiosk, such as the ability to accept or decline a package or the ability to create and order an item, and so on, via the management environment (e.g. appliance management environment 130). The device may also be preloaded or preconfigured with device logic for customized levels of control and access, based on user preferences.“
Furthermore, the kiosk can be controlled, in terms of access, so if the user was to go on holiday or vacation, they could modify the permissions on the kiosk to prevent anyone from being able to use it and not let parcels be left at the kiosk, or they could grant access to a neighbour or friend.
“In addition, a user may view and modify levels of control and access of devices provisioned and/or deprovisioned in the system. For example, if the user obtains a new device, replacement device, or updated device (e.g. a new kiosk to replace an existing kiosk), an existing device may be removed, or deprovisioned, from the management system on the distributed ledger. This enables a user to dynamically control and modify the levels of access and control for each device on the system. As another example, a user may modify a level of access for dedicated or pre-defined time intervals, such as disabling a kiosk’s ability to accept a package when the user is away on vacation.“
This patent application made by the superstore giant, Walmart, outlines many revolutionary ideas and ways that Blockchain technology can work in cooperation with smart appliances, through the massive reach the store has to consumers, this can also contribute to mass adoption whilst providing better security with personal belongings, and much more.
This article was written by James Anderson