The new patent application of the multinational retail corporation describes a blockchain-based management system for smart appliances.
Thursday the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a patent application filed in January by Walmart Inc Describes the validation, through blockchain technology, of transactions involving smart appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers and dryers .
The inventors outline a process by which a user makes a transaction request, which triggers a consent mechanism within the nodes in a network. From there, a consent protocol would be implemented to validate the transaction , allowing the intelligent appliance associated with the transaction to perform the required function.
Managing these smart appliance transactions could be part of an object internet (IoT ecosystem) where transaction data is recorded on a public ledger as a blockchain. The ledger would allow interested parties in the IoT ecosystem to confirm the legitimacy of a transaction.
In addition, within the system could be wearable devices that keep individuals' private keys, which they would use to authorize smart appliance transactions. The control and access of these devices may also be modified by authorized users, such as when a new device is introduced or removed from the system.
In addition, the application provides an extensive list of potential uses for the blockchain-based system, including at home, environmental monitoring efforts, health care and production. The inventors continue to note that such a system must not be limited to the management of smart appliances.
Walmart has some patent applications to his credit, including the active one for an electricity network which uses a public ledger (published by the USPTO on June 14th). However, it may simply be a duplicate or slightly updated version of a patent application submitted by the trade giant in December 2016. Another issue emerged on May 10, requiring deliveries of autonomous vehicles, which could be part of one Walmart's effort for its supply chain processes through blockchain technology.
Daniel Putney is a full-time writer for ETHNews. He holds a degree in English at the University of Nevada, in Reno, where he also studied journalism and queer theory. In his spare time, he writes poetry, plays the piano and dances on fictional characters. He lives with his partner, three dogs and two cats in the middle of nowhere, Nevada.
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