Nokia and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have teamed with a Swiss startup called Streamr that will enable consumers to control and market tokenized data collected by Internet-connected devices, according to Fortune. The partnerships, announced at the Consensus conference in New York, signal emerging efforts to use blockchain technology to empower consumers.
Streamr will tokenize the data in a cryptocurrency called DATAcoin which raised more than $30 million last year in an ICO.
HPE has already developed a prototype that allows data on automobile use to be collected on the company’s Edgeline server, then stored on a blockchain. The car owner will be able to sell their data to anyone who would have use for it. Such data could include fuel levels that might help energy companies determine fuel demand, or windshield wiper activity data that might be used for developing weather warnings.
Raphael Davison, worldwide director for blockchain at HPE, said at the present time, drivers are giving away car data that could be very valuable. Local government administrators might want data on traffic or pothole locations. Automobile insurance companies might want data to determine driver risk with which they can determine insurance premiums.
HPE’s prototype has been installed in an Audi Q2, but it could be used in any car, according to Davison. Such data might also be useful to smart cities.
Davison terms the project “blockchain 3.0.” Where blockchain 2.0 addressed using the technology to connect businesses with each other, blockchain 3.0 will eliminate middlemen and link consumers directly to entities looking to profit from the consumers’ data.
Blockchain makes the party generating the data its owner, Davison said. HPE is also looking at ways to give patients control of their medical records.
Nokia, for its part, is working with Streamr to transfer data from its industrial strength Wi-Fi hot spots to the blockchain. These mobile “base stations” are usually used in low signal places like farms where sensors are installed to regulate irrigation and predict weather patterns.
Martti Ylikoski, who oversees Nokia’s radio system activity, said farmers might want to sell such data.
Streamr has also partnered with a company called OSIsoft that provides analytics for tracking data in industrial operations. OSIsoft clients might want to trade Streamr DATA tokens with one another, according to the company.
Henri Pihkala, Streamr CEO, said various devices could eventually have an off/on switch to activate sharing and selling data. The technology exists, he said; the challenge is getting companies to deploy it.
At the time of this report, DATAcoin traded at around 12 cents, having dropped from 30 cents at the beginning of this year.