Blockchain networks peaq and Fetch.ai are collaborating with Bosch to create crowdsourced physical data networks. It uses a Bosch multi-sensor device to collect IoT information. That data could be for weather stations, noise monitoring or various other applications. The web3 angle is device owners will earn crypto rewards for monetizing their data. The combination of monetization and IoT data is often referred to as the economy of things (EoT).
The concept is not dissimilar to another web3 offering, the Helium Network which also supports Internet of Things (IoT) devices and has almost a million hotspots. Helium is backed by the likes of Tiger Global, Andreessen Horowitz, Goodyear Ventures, Liberty Global and a division of Deutsche Telekom. It also has a token worth around $700 million.
Both the peaq consortium and Helium talk about Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks (DePINs) – the network of devices used to collect data. Often the data will be environmental, not just weather. The Bosch XDK110 device has eight sensors including ones to measure magnetic fields, temperature, pressure, light, noise and a gyroscope. For any particular application, only the necessary sensors will be used.
Bosch’s XDK device has been around for at least seven years, although the XDK110 is likely an evolved model. It’s programmable which is how it connects to the Fetch.AI and peaq blockchain networks. Bosch’s device was originally designed as a rapid prototyping kit. In other words, it’s intended for proofs of concept rather than as a production device. We found one for sale for around $260.
The XDK seems to support conventional Bluetooth and Wifi which are fine for applications in built up areas. In contrast, Helium uses LoRaWAN technology which is longer range.
Peaq is used to store the collected data and Fetch.AI provides a network of AI agents or autonomous assistants.
Meanwhile, the three companies have a history of working together. In February Bosch Research and Fetch.ai created the Fetch.ai Foundation to commercialize web3 technologies in mobility, Industry 4.0 and smart homes. Additionally, Bosch leads the GAIA-X moveID consortium working on mobility solutions. The 19 members include Airbus, Continental, peaq, Fetch.AI and at least five other web3 startups.