The professional consulting giant Accenture Global Solutions could consider the use of the blockchain to optimize and automate shipping logistics.
According to a document published by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, the proposed system would determine certain types of attributes for the shipped items and store such information on a blockchain. The proposed system will then follow the objects as they are sent from one position to another, using the data stored in the ledger to confirm the status and conditions of the objects.
Devices that participate in the network – which could be robots or unmanned aerial vehicles, for example – can check the integrity of such shipments while being transported to different locations, comparing their status with the information already stored on the blockchain.
The information can also be monitored by vehicles without drivers or other autonomous vehicles.
If an analyzer device verifies the identity of an object successfully by matching its attributes to what is already described and stored on the blockchain, it will allow the object to continue its journey, whether it is placed on the shelves, on a vehicle for further transport or is incorporated in a further production process.
If the current and previous phase data does not match, the device can order the system to return the product and stop payment.
The system can also create alerts and messages for managers involved in the shipping process or government agencies that regulate the product. The system may also request a management meeting, if necessary, or request that an investigator verify if a product has been tampered with or altered.
Application is the latest manifestation of interest by Accenture in blockchain applications (and not its first attempt to protect intellectual property related to technology).
Last summer, Accenture and Microsoft launched a prototype of a blockchain for identity archiving and is currently working with the World Economic Forum and the United Nations on digital identity projects.
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