Blockchain Application in IoT Data Marketplace

Today, IoT devices are generating a massive amount of data. Simultaneously, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning solutions are getting integrated everywhere around us, making services and products more smarter and personalized. And one thing that is driving these technologies is data. On one hand, IoT device companies don’t know how to effectively manage the huge chunk of data generated while on the other hand, AI and ML-based companies are looking for a source that can provide them with a more diverse set of training data so as to produce better solutions.

IoT device manufacturers are using cloud-based solutions for their humongous data storage requirements. They are even implementing business intelligence tools and services on top of this data to derive insights to ride the wave of future potential ideas. But for successful future businesses, implementation of predictive, prescriptive and adaptive solutions are required. This, in turn, requires an additional step of data processing to extract the real actionable insights from the collected pool of data. This data processing skill set is currently not possessed by these IoT manufacturers.

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And on the contrary, there are many AI and ML startups who are adept at this but lack the required data set and try to derive insights from the minuscule data sets that they can get their hands on. Apparently, there is a need for a transparent and neutral platform that can benefit both of these groups IoT Device manufacturers and the AI/ML startups.

The solution for this is a trustless, secure and reliable Blockchain platform where the data can be traded seamlessly. In a blockchain based, decentralized data marketplace there are majorly two benefits:

The first benefit is Continuously available data store for the IoT Device manufacturers. And the second is a data marketplace with a diverse set of searchable data for the AI and ML startups. In such a marketplace, data collected from the IoT devices will be traded and consumed by different parties. For instance in the given figure there are 3 smart devices – The Wireless speaker system, Smart Watch and smart coffee maker. The device manufacturers of these devices will list the data recorded by these devices on the blockchain marketplace with the user’s permission.

This data is purchased by AI/ML companies from the data marketplace. This data is then processed by these companies using their specialized algorithms to produce useful insights. For instance data from smart coffee makers can be used to get insights on people’s choice of the coffee brand and preference for strength of the coffee in a specific region. These insights can then be sold to various companies like coffeehouses who caters in that specific region. That data can be further sold to various coffee manufacturers who can now better understand the taste preference of the people and can then introduce new products into the market.

Similarly data from the wireless ecosystems can be used to get insights on people’s taste of music living in a specific region. These insights about the music taste of that locality can be sold to event companies and in turn, these event companies can increase their revenue while giving customized experience to the customers. The insights generated from smartwatches can be sold to various local hospitals who can use this to launch various health plans and diagnostic tests for better health of the patients.

In short, this marketplace can create a positive feedback loop from the data generated. Thus creating a win win situation for all the stakeholders involved. For end users the benefits will be indirect. They may be provided with IoT devices at a much lower cost in exchange of their consent to store and share their data on the marketplace. The data that will be shared on the market place will be determined by the consent of the user and the legal framework applicable in that geographical location. The money that customers will have to pay for these devices will depend on the consent level that they give to these manufacturers on the data collection and sharing.

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Generally when you think of any system that collects, processes or shares the user’s data a sense of skepticism creeps in your mind about the data privacy you become doubtful about the misuse or abuse of the data shared. But in this transparent and reliable system every data point shared on the marketplace is consented and no data is shared without the consent of the user unlike in the current scenario. This secure data marketplace is bound to bring data democratization by means of access to the consented user’s data. Thus tackling one of the critical problem in today’s web ecosystem where most of our data is held by tech giants like google and facebook and is shared with third parties without our knowledge or consent. The marketplace primarily will have 2 forms of data.

First form would be raw data collected by the devices and the second form will be the processed data generated by AI and ML companies by using various algorithms. Therefore, a decentralized and a transparent marketplace for trading of data generated from these IoT devices is bound to have a positive impact on the adoption of IoT devices. Such a marketplace will have the potential to improve the service quality and variety of offerings at the same time, thus proving to be a real boon for the end customers as well.

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