Hardware Is Hard: Two Blockchain Devices Win Plaudits in CES 2020

LAS VEGAS — In tech there is an old adage: “hardware as hard.” It’s easier to simulate and test a commodity when a error can be repaired by deleting and rewriting several lines of code.

At that the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas this week, even however, 2 crypto companies are leading with atoms instead of pieces, and it appears to be operating. 

Their merchandise won “CES Innovation Awards” and coveted spots in the gadget display, in which hordes of individuals pour through the Sands Expo Center.

We first struck Pundi X in CES when talking MakerDAO from the “Digital Money” section. The MakerDAO Foundation was showing off its integration using the XPOS point-of-sale program, a system which Pundi X made to sell crypto and additionally for retailers to take crypto as payment.

XPOS is not what made Pundi X plaudits in CES, however. Instead it had been “Blok On Blok” (BOB), its own blockchain phone, that got recognized from the trade series’s Mobile Devices & Accessories class )

Meet BOB

The Pundi X BOB phone. (Photo by Brady Dale for CoinDesk)

‘”We want to offer the user an option to control their data,” Pundi X Soohan Han advised CoinDesk in the company’s booth. )

Han stated the purpose of this BOB phone would be to give consumers confidence that their communications really are not being tracked. He also promised that the phones’ ability to skip censors. For instance, the United Arab Emirates cubes VoIP, however Han stated he managed to get beyond it together with his BOB phone on a trip there.

The phone runs Pundi X’s own f(x) blockchain (that the company is also, incidentally, intending to transfer XPOS to its blockchain, although it was built for ethereum).

The BOB phone can change back and forth between Android style and an Android fork constructed for blockchain use that is ready to encourage dapps. Similarly, that the Sirin Labs phone affirmed dapps, but it didn’t operate on a working system built about blockchain.

Han stated the goal for Pundi X is to produce a third operating system, one which other telephone companies build phones for. 

“There isn’t any decentralized operating system out there. We want to offer (f)x OS to give people a way to control their data if they want to,” Han said.

Han stated they expect to aim the tech-centric and security-conscious on this mobile apparatus. Super privacy-conscious consumers may be somewhat cynical of an operating system built on Android, however there are just a few options available on the market.

One non-blockchain offering built on open source applications is your Librem 5 Purism, which runs PureOS, dependent on Linux. The Librem has bodily switches that detach the device’s camera and microphone so a consumer can really understand they are not functioning.

Pundi X raised $30.5 million at a 2017 ICO, based on Binance, that was used to construct and deploy XPOS. Its phone, BOB, is available today on Indiegogo for pre-order as low as $554. Han anticipates the phone to send this year. 


Ucam’s Dorothy Ko and Larry Pang pose in the company’s booth at CES 2020. (Photo by Brady Dale for CoinDesk)

Similarly, “Internet of Trusted Things” startup IoTeX was showing off its own Ucam apparatus, a home security camera which shares footage into the cloud, however it is not really branded as IoTeX.

“Our company is a blockchain platform, and we are working with other IoT and hardware manufacturing companies to make private and secure IoT devices,” IoTeX’s Dorothy Ko explained.

Instead, a company that has been building cameras for decades, Tenvis, will construct and give the gadget. The product gained CES 2020’s recognition from the Cybersecurity & Personal Privacy class )

“This is a hyper-saturated market,” IoTeX Head of Business Development Larry Pang advised CoinDesk. “Tenvis came to us looking for the next feature, and that’s privacy.”

Ucam footage will be streamed via a mobile program and that program will maintain the private key for whatever it captures. That manner, even if the consumer decides to save the information in the cloud, the cloud service provider will not have the ability to see it.

The program can manage one or many cameras.

Video may be stored on board the camera in an SD cardstored at the cloud or perhaps on IPFS, even though cloud storage of any type is very likely to incur a charge. IoTeX provides that service but also the cost is not set yet, Pang said. If that the user simply holds it locally there’ll be no additional cost.

“We really need to give individuals the capability to have privacy and a fantastic user experience,” Pang said. Ucam will retail at $50 as it comes out, he added.

Hardware ambivalence

Neither company would like to devote itself to creating hardware.

“The great thing about this is all of the cameras that you see about the [CES] floor now can finally be powered by IoTeX,” Pang clarified. His company is operating from a platform-as-a-service version.

They’d prefer to watch IoTeX running different indoor and outdoor cameras by several manufacturers, all linked to one program and a personal key controlled by the proprietor.

IoTeX managed to skip the hardware implementation process by partnering with an current company that already had it all down.

That stated, Pundi X really is creating a phone . In reality, the phone will arrive in a giant box and also need some assembly by consumers, so as to open the option of modularity into the gadget. It are even possible to 3D-print components for your phone.

The showcased BOB from the picture above is not really the phone layout. It’s a heavily modded layout, showing off the way the phone could display character.

Han provided that Pundi X has been likely one of the earliest movers crypto into hardware” Our business isn’t really just hardware,” he explained. “The hardware is really just a byproduct of how we introduce the solution.”

That stated, Pundi X does not anticipate this for a huge series of phones. Han stated that someone had to move first but they expect to see more companies establishing about the f(x) operating system later on.

“We are not a phone company,” he explained.

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The leader in blockchain information, CoinDesk is a media outlet that tries for the greatest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.


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