You’re probably already familiar with blockchain technology powering cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
But now, telecoms giant China Mobile has developed a water purifier connected to an Internet of Things (IoT) module. This rewards users with tokens issued through the blockchain.
In a demonstration of the capabilities of blockchain tech and its many use cases, China Mobile developed the system through their IoT division. This was set up to examine IoT technology and how it could be used in a number of practical settings.
Xiao Yi, product manager at China Mobile IoT, said that by actually giving something back to users, via the blockchain, the water purifier was distinct from its other IoT developments.
Users are rewarded with tokens called PWMC. These are paid out as rewards depending on how heavily the purification system is used.
These tokens can later be exchanged for new filters or other products. This system is said by Xiao Yi to help demonstrate the ‘everyday’ potential of blockchain tech.
“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.”
At the moment, the water purifier is only available through a crowdfunding campaign hosted at JD.com. This is attempting to reach the equivalent of $30,000 by January 21.
The purifier comes hot on the heels of a line of blockchain-enabled TVs launched by China Mobile for the November sales period. These TVs connect to the Internet without the need for WiFi through their IoT module.
The TVs then record usage information and other data on a blockchain. TVs will run as individual nodes on the network.
The possibilities for blockchain technology and the Internet of Things are significant. The water purifier is only the latest demonstration of this type of system in practice.
According to Xiao Yi, this type of IoT and blockchain technology is most suited to large household appliances.
“In general, it’s more suitable for larger houseware stuff that have higher and continuous usage demand on a daily and regularly basis.”