On 1 March 2018, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released an application by Walmart to patent a device described a “Smart Package”. This is a device that would record information on a blockchain regarding the contents of the package, environmental conditions, and location for example.
Walmart has indicated that this “Smart Package” could be used in tandem with other connected devices such as autonomous vehicles, drones.
Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular which also brings about new challenges. In the patent application, Walmart stated “Many customers shop online for various reasons include ease of shopping, comfort of shopping, to save time and any number of other reasons that customers may have for shopping online. These online customers many times seek to purchase items that may require a controlled environment and further seek to have greater security in the shipping packaging that the items are shipped in. Current shipping packaging does not provide for such desired functionality.”
This move by Walmart adds to the prediction that 80 Billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2025, the network of devices called the Internet of Things (IoT).
Technology is forging ahead in the attempt to make connected devices “smarter”. As per the infographic below, Gartner predicts that 95% of new products will contain IoT. These devices will require security or face being easy pickings by cybercriminals.
Read further below:
IoT and Blockchain – A Match made in Heaven
Smart Agriculture – EOT makes Agriculture Smarter
Smart Cities – Smart Cities and IoT
Smart Supply Chain – IoT and Logistics
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