IoT News Roundup

Semtech LoRa technology selected for Australia's first IoT network ••• CALLUP to introduce remote SIM card management system for the IoT ••• Bridge Alliance, Gemalto offer eSIM solution for consumer IoT devices ••• Itron, Bsquare provide app community for grid edge devices ••• SALUS Controls chooses Ayla Networks to connect smart building products to the IoT ••• Microsoft intros new blockchain product-tracking project ••• Red Ledge launches open RFID- and IIoT-ready asset-management system ••• MITRE announces winner of Internet of Things challenge.
By Rich Handley

Microsoft Intros New Blockchain Product-Tracking Project

Microsoft has undertaken Project Manifest, a blockchain deployment intended to monitor goods moving through worldwide supply chains. The project involves technology initially created to help the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) communicate with deep-space probes. According to an article posted at CoinDesk.com, Project Manifest could help to ensure the origins of products, as well as make sure that the labor involved in creating them conforms to ethical standards.

Project Manifest, established in initial partnership with Mojix, leverages the company's ViZix Internet of Things platform, designed to help retailers, distribution centers and factories monitor products via radio frequency identification technology. According to the article, the implementation enables a company to alert supply chain members in the event that shipped products end up missing.

Mojix has raised $40 million in venture funding from Red Rock Ventures and other companies. An noSQL database powers the big-data framework behind the IoT platform. The blockchain solution integrates the ViZix platform with a smart contracts application layer.

Mojix exhibited the technology at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show 2017 convention, held last month in New York City. "At NRF," a Microsoft spokesperson told RFID Journal, "in Microsoft's booth, Mojix demonstrated a proof-of-concept for how these smart contracts are created in blockchain and have the ability to show the provenance of an item, so retailers know, when placing an order, that they are adhering to their company's corporate social responsibility programs and are only working with partners who operate ethically."

The blockchain integration, according to Mojix, takes advantage of the growing use of RFID, GPS and Bluetooth sensors in the manufacture of goods. "Microsoft and its partners are delivering solutions that enable retailers to transform their businesses today," the spokesperson explained, "but we also have an eye on the future and are constantly innovating with the specific needs of retailers in mind."

According to the spokesperson, "Microsoft partner Mojix has developed technology to enable blockchain-powered smart contracts, driving the next wave of innovation across supply chains. Mojix's RFID hardware and software feeds data through Microsoft's cloud platform, Azure, into the blockchain ledger, creating an irrefutable record of a product moving through a retailer's supply chain. Ultimately, this will create more agile supply chains and create closer cooperation and enhanced trust among retailers, suppliers and logistic partners."

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