IoTeX & Lineable Partnership: Expanding the Reach and Impact of Wearables with Blockchain

Alongside the launch of the IoTeX Partnerships Program today, we are excited to announce our strategic partnership with Lineable, a wearable device company based in Seoul, Korea. Founded in 2014, Lineable combines affordable hardware with advanced connectivity technologies (e.g., BLE, GPS, LPWAN) to create cost-effective solutions that keep women, children, and seniors connected to their loved ones. Lineable’s products have already saved lives, and blockchain is a key component in their future goal to use wearables data to pre-diagnose medical conditions. IoTeX is proud to partner with Lineable, and we look forward to connecting 1,000,000+ Lineable smart devices to the IoTeX blockchain in 2019.

“Lineable’s mission of creating a crowdsourced safety network for families has finally found a perfect complement — IoTeX’s blockchain technology. We are proud to partner with IoTeX to maximize the social impact of our products and create new opportunities.” — Tyler Moon, CEO

What is Lineable?

Lineable is a hardware-based company focused on building smart wearable devices to keep families safe. Their first product, a location-tracking smart band for children, was launched globally in 2015. Since then, Lineable has received international recognition for its products and social impact, including winning the United Nations (UNICEF) “Wearables for Good Challenge” in 2017. In the coming months, Lineable will publicly launch three new smartwatch products (Lineable Silver, Lady, Junior), which offer SOS alerts, location tracking / geofencing, activity tracking (heart rate, fitness, sleep), and more.

Earlier this year, Lineable received an investment from Semtech, one of the largest chip manufacturers and only producer of LoRaWAN chips in the world. LoRaWAN (long-range wide area network) offers cost-effective connectivity for low-power devices, with a range of 4 km in urban areas and 40 km outdoors (bluetooth / WiFi range is <100m). Lineable recently partnered with several global telecoms to launch their new devices on LoRaWAN; for example, 500,000 Lineable devices are currently being produced in partnership with an Indian telecom giant.

Lineable also has a proven track record of successful product launches and collaborations. In 2017, Lineable partnered with Korea’s largest telecom provider, SK Telecom, and the National Police Agency of Korea to launch Lineable Silver, a smartwatch designed to help seniors suffering from memory loss (e.g., dementia, Alzheimer’s). Lineable’s products have already made an impact on families around the world, but we believe the introduction of blockchain technology to Lineable’s devices will lead to amazing new possibilities.

How can Lineable benefit from IoTeX’s blockchain technology?

The intersection of blockchain and wearable IoT devices is emerging as a promising use case. Lineable currently offers an effective solution to track data (e.g., location, biometrics) and connect the unconnected (e.g., those without smartphones). The introduction of blockchain technology and cryptoeconomics opens the doors for new capabilities and operating models, centered around: data privacy, supply/demand for trusted data, and machine-to-machine interaction.

Data privacy

With built-in GPS, heart rate monitor, and accelerometer, Lineable’s smart devices gather sensitive and valuable data, such as real-time location and health data. Immediate benefits of connecting Lineable’s devices to IoTeX are that a) sensitive data is not exposed to centralized parties / irrelevant third parties and b) sending data to trusted parties can be done privately using IoTeX’s privacy-preserving techniques. Lineable can achieve full privacy for its users’ data by leveraging IoTeX’s privacy-centric infrastructure.

Supply / Demand for trusted data

Once data is stored on the blockchain, it is immutable and traceable. However, the original source of the data cannot be verified unless the data is attested (i.e., proven to come from a specific source/device), which is supported by IoTeX’s protocol. Today, there is an abundance of IoT data that cannot be fully trusted, rendering it unusable for formal research, sale to third parties, and other uses outside of the data owner’s domain. By connecting to IoTeX, the data generated by Lineable devices can be attested and fully trusted, effectively making each Lineable user a “trusted data supplier”. This offers a number of new data-related opportunities:

  • Provide trusted data for research: Lineable’s ultimate goal is to provide data to research institutions to pre-diagnose medical conditions (e.g., dementia, Alzheimer’s). Research institutions can independently verify the original source of the data to ensure they are working with untampered data.
  • Create a data marketplace: Personal health data is extremely valuable to insurers, personalized healthcare providers, and other medical corporations. Lineable users can choose whether to sell their data to these entities, and profits can be used to fund research or lower costs for users, as described below.
  • Incentivize the use of devices: Complete, continuous data sets are more valuable than fragmented ones. As a result, data buyers (e.g., insurers) can incentivize Lineable users to keep their devices on and provide more complete data. This could eliminate costs to users, and even be profitable for users.

Machine-to-machine interaction

As more devices are connected to the IoTeX blockchain, Lineable devices will be able to interact directly with various types of devices. In an emergency situation, Lineable’s products currently offer an SOS alert that sends a “help message” and location data to all protectors. With blockchain, the Lineable device will be able to broadcast this message to not only the user’s family members but also nearby devices that can help the distressed user (e.g., point nearest video camera to user location, turn on the nearest floodlight, sound nearest alarm).

What are the goals of the partnership?

Although it is too early to publicize concrete milestones and timelines, IoTeX and Lineable are both committed to one overarching goal: connect all of Lineable’s devices to the IoTeX blockchain in 2019. To achieve this goal, Lineable has staffed up its new blockchain team and is currently building the Lineable decentralized application (DApp). Although some of the defined use cases are longer-term ambitions (i.e., machine-to-machine interaction), we are excited to take this partnership one step at a time, starting with a proof of concept in 2018.

Similar to IoTeX, Lineable is a company that builds its hardware, software, and firmware completely in-house. This offers a major advantage for our partnership, as both partners are agile/versatile and deeply knowledgeable in our respective domains. We look forward to working with Lineable to ensure their DApp fully leverages the capabilities of IoTeX’s blockchain to make Lineable’s vision a reality.