China Mobile, one of the largest state-owned telecommunications companies in that country, has designed a water purifying device powered by blockchain, thus making an explicit statement that blockchain technology is not something extraneous and out of this world, but is a beneficial high-tech solution that may be advantageously applied to ordinary household appliances.
The Product Market Director at China Mobile IoT, Xiao Yi, stated: “Our goal is to also attract those who are not in the cryptocurrency or blockchain community, who may have heard of this technology but not necessarily understand it. To embrace a more mainstream adoption, we need to turn something that appears professional into something that’s very ordinary.”
The Internet of Things (IoT) division within the company has developed a product with a built-in computing chip and an IoT module. This innovative gadget collects applicable user data related to consumer behaviour habits and shares it with the supplier, similar to other IoT-linked devices. The blockchain technology steps in when the sensitive captured user data, which is also commercially valuable, needs to be processed and shared. The public blockchain standard SWTC has been installed in the purifier to manage the data storage.
The consumer receives a blockchain-based token, called PWMC, which can be used when purchasing new filters or other related products. The promotional token is seen as an innovative type of reward that brings the concept of digital currency to the everyday life of regular people. According to the representative of China Mobile, this reward system “will provide an incentive for usage that’s lacking in other IoT products” and at the same time “will make blockchain relatable for the average person who doesn’t spend all day trading cryptocurrency”.
The water purifier is not yet a mass-market product, and is currently only available through a crowdfunding campaign on the JD.com website, where the goal has been set to reach $30,000 by January 21st, 2019.