Chronicled, Inc., a San Francisco-based technology company, has launched an Open Registry for IoT, signaling a major step forward in the growth and interoperability of the consumer Internet of Things. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, the registry stores the identities of physical items, initially consumer goods and collectibles embedded with BLE and NFC microchips. In doing so, a secure, interoperable digital identity is established and new, proximity-based consumer engagement opportunities become possible. Chronicled has open sourced the project under the Apache License.
“Chip companies, physical IP creators, and brands can now register and verify their BLE and NFC chips on a public blockchain,” said Chronicled CEO Ryan Orr. “These tamperproof chips can be ordered today and are already being deployed in consumer goods.” Chronicled, Inc. has deployed approximately 10,000 tamperproof NFC & BLE chips to date and has seeded the open registry in its role as the sponsor.
Daniel Cooley, Senior Vice President and General Manager, IoT Products, at Silicon Labs noted, "One of the main problems holding back growth in the consumer IoT market is interoperability. By putting IoT chip registrations into private databases, today, every brand is creating the equivalent of its own private cellular phone network or its own private email system that is not interoperable with any other network. We are excited that our Bluetooth low energy chip customers now have the opportunity to register and verify their chips on a public blockchain. This interoperable back end is a valuable building block and positive step for the entire IoT ecosystem including app developers, brands and consumers alike."
“The open source tools launching today enable developers to register chips to the blockchain, associate chips with physical products and build apps with smartphone scan and authentication functionalities,” said Maurizio Greco, Chronicled’s Chief Technology Officer. Starter kits, SDKs and an Open Registry Explorer are available at chronicled.org.
The open registry is built on the public Ethereum blockchain (ETH). Vitalik Buterin, Founder of Ethereum, said, “Consumer IoT has always been one of the areas of blockchain adoption that I have been most bullish about, and I am excited to see Chronicled’s efforts in pushing IoT authentication use cases a step further.”
“The Open Registry for IoT shows how blockchain and consumer IoT are converging, and we are proud to be working with Chronicled on the Ethereum implementation,” said Johann Barbie, CTO of Ambisafe. He continued, “This could become one of the largest non-monetary use cases of blockchain developed to date. Billions of IoT chips will be shipped over the next five years.”
The Bluetooth and NFC functionality currently supported by the open registry back-end allow brands and retailers to engage with consumers in ways that heretofore have not been available. Developers can now leverage identity and proximity verification of a physical thing as a basis for serving up protected digital content and powering bespoke user engagement experiences. For example, a retailer could deliver a unique photo filter to customers who purchase a product from a particular store or a brand could push content, offers or rewards to loyal consumers wearing specific products in real time. Further, if an artist signs his painting with a digital chip, a patron’s smartphone could soon be used to verify authenticity and provenance, view exclusive content, and securely buy, insure, collateralize, or transfer ownership of the artwork.
Samantha Radocchia, Chronicled’s Chief Product Officer, spoke on the company’s collaborative approach, “Developers are invited and encouraged to build their own proprietary applications leveraging the public registry. Importantly, the registry is an open source layer and is not proprietary to Chronicled, Inc. It is a public good designed to outlive the lifespan of any company. Brands, chip companies and developers utilizing the registry cannot be locked in, monetized or forced to cede control over business-critical data and customer relationships.”
Chronicled is currently collaborating with a number of ecosystem partners including Ambisafe, Blue Bite, Cellotape, Identiv, Origin Labs, Silicon Labs, SmartTrac, and Viper Design.