IoTeX & SmartHab: Smart buildings and cities, powered by IoTeX

Smart homes, buildings, and cities are no longer just something we see in futuristic movies. Today, connected IoT devices allow us to automate many aspects of our personal homes and commercial buildings, such as security, lighting, and HVAC. However, connecting devices within individual buildings is just a start, with promising opportunities emerging in connecting larger communities and even cities. Using smart IoT devices to secure/transmit data and control smart city infrastructure is exciting, but a number of unaddressed problems exist. Traditional approaches have failed to address privacy concerns for sensitive data, non-interoperability across smart devices, and lack of shareable resources within communities.

Blockchain is a great candidate to address each of these problems. Smart building and city infrastructure has evolved rapidly in the past few years, and we feel the addition of blockchain will bring more exciting benefits to smart cities around the world. That is why IoTeX is proud to partner with SmartHab, an end-to-end smart building solution provider, to secure sensitive smart building-related data and introduce new capabilities using blockchain technology.

“As two organizations at the forefront of IoT security, SmartHab and IoTeX are proud to partner to develop impactful and usable innovations for smart buildings and cities around the world.”

- Godefroy Jordan, SmartHab President & CEO

What is SmartHab?

Based in Paris, SmartHab was founded in 2016 by veterans from the real estate and technology industries. SmartHab builds and installs end-to-end smart apartment solutions, which connect various types of smart devices to automate apartment operations (e.g., security, HVAC, lighting) and add transparency for both residents and building owners. Residents are able to manage their personal devices and systems via a mobile app, while building owners are able to optimize operations in their buildings. SmartHab currently offers two solutions: SmartHab N (built into brand new buildings) and SmartHab R (retrofitted into existing buildings).

In a short amount of time, SmartHab has secured major partnerships and commitments to equip residential buildings with their smart apartment systems. SmartHab raised Series A funding from angel investors and real estate giants, such as Groupe Duval and VINCI Immobilier, and has begun installing their products into apartments around the world. Their next goal is to create a decentralized platform that will become the standard for smart building data notarization.

How will SmartHab use IoTeX’s blockchain?

To complement their end-to-end smart apartment solutions, SmartHab is currently building the HAB platform, a blockchain-based registry that records critical data from smart homes and buildings. Similar to an airplane’s “black box”, HAB provides a trusted data vault that can be utilized to identify the root cause of home-related incidents, such as fire, trespassing/theft, and flooding. HAB will leverage native benefits of blockchain, such as immutability and traceability, as well as IoTeX-specific features to build their new platform.

HAB will build on top of IoTeX’s infrastructure to maintain privacy and verifiability of the critical data collected, as well as to manage connectivity to a range of heterogeneous devices:

  • Data privacy: HAB captures the most critical data from a home or building, which is extremely valuable for insurance claims but also extremely sensitive. By using IoTeX’s privacy-centric blockchain, HAB can ensure data is not exposed to irrelevant third parties and can be sent to authorized parties with full privacy.
  • Data attestation: Each year, thousands of high-value insurance claims are settled based on incomplete or unverifiable data collected after an incident. With IoTeX, HAB can mathematically prove that data came from a specific device (e.g., sensor) and provide a trusted and immutable data source for its users.
  • Heterogeneous devices: Data managed by the HAB platform comes from various types of IoT devices, some of which operate under different standards. In the longer term, HAB can utilize IoTeX’s interoperability support to connect various devices to further optimize operations.

What are the goals of the partnership?

As two organizations at the forefront of IoT security innovation, the primary goal of our partnership will be to ensure the HAB platform best utilizes the IoTeX blockchain to capture maximum security, privacy, and usability benefits. Although no concrete timelines have been set, we hope to successfully launch the HAB platform on the IoTeX blockchain in 2019. Throughout our technical development, IoTeX and SmartHab will also work on several proofs of concept alongside our combined network of strategic partners.

In addition to collaborating on the HAB ecosystem, IoTeX and SmartHab will also work together on business cases to make this new offering more tangible to users. As mentioned earlier, the HAB platform provides a brand new alternative to traditional insurance-related investigations by providing an immutable history of the states of various smart devices during the time of an incident. Although this is undeniably of positive value, we hope to quantify the potential impacts to attract new smart home builders and HAB platform users (e.g., insurers) to the ecosystem.