Telecoms Firm Orange, Tech Company SmartKey Developing Smart Cities Blockchain Tech
Access control, smart bikes, utilities and other elements of smart cities will soon be managed via blockchain technology, thanks to a new partnership between telecoms firm Orange and technology company SmartKey.
The first use case for the partnership will be an extension of SmartKey’s “Rescue without Barriers” pilot, which saw rescue services in Olsztyn, Poland use Smartkey to gain immediate access to every secure district and building in the area, using blockchain, greatly cutting down response times and saving lives. Hospital barriers and other gates and entrances open when a rescue vehicle, whose team uses the SmartKey solution, approaches. This is one of many examples of possible applications of the access control function based on blockchain and connectivity within the licensed operator band and paves the way for Orange to be the first global operator to use blockchain to enable the smart cities of the future.
This will be rolled out in more than 80 cities in Poland which, in cooperation with Orange, have implemented Internet of Things (IoT) solutions integrated with the Live Objects IoT platform. The Live Objects platform is already being used to manage various city services, such as remote reading of water meters or street lighting control. Thanks to the integration, it is possible to register devices with an Orange SIM card in the blockchain network and to generate and distribute Smart NFT access keys in the publicly available SmartKey blockchain network. By using Smartkey technology as a universal standard this can also be applied to any Orange IoT device worldwide.
The specificity of blockchain technology (based on the so-called decentralized applications dApps) and Orange network security standards prevent unauthorized use of the “virtual key”. On the other hand, the flexibility of the SmartKey technology means that it can be used in a variety of urban and commercial services, e.g. in parking lots, in transport and public transport, loading and refueling vehicles, monitoring and finally in the so-called distributed energy.
Sebastian Grabowski, director of IoT and Advanced Technologies at Orange explained: “Smart devices are not a new idea. Already over two million M2M cards from Orange work, among others, in such devices throughout Poland. However, even a wide range of such devices does not create a network in itself, just as a collection of houses does not create a city. We also need an infrastructure that connects IoT technology with the end user, and this is what blockchain provides.”
Szymon Fiedorowicz, cofounder and CEO of SmartKey added: “To enable Blockchain of Things devices to operate within the smart city of the future, we created a universal communication standard to connect devices over short distances.
“This cooperation with Orange, the leader of urban IoT services in Poland, will help our solution become a connective tissue for smart cities and cement our role in the smart city of the future and open up a world of new possibilities of using the Internet of Things.”