GeoPact is a blockchain-backed location verification system which collects and confirms location data from smart objects with certainty and security. Users can harness this data by writing smart contracts, allowing the correct location of smart objects to trigger useful actions such as transferring money or opening a lock.


Project

We are exploring the use of digital ledger technology to verify and secure location data used by smart objects in the transport and delivery sector, where vehicles, street signs and systems governing traffic flow may be smart. The intention is to create new systems and services to improve efficiency and ease congestion. GeoPact will underpin these services, ensuring that smart objects are where they say they are, and doing this is such a way that location tracking doesn’t become invasive of privacy.  There are already numerous ways of detecting the location of smart objects, for example through mobile networks used for phones, however using these technologies location is easily faked, so cannot be relied on in situations that may present risks to safety, legal implications, or larger financial consequences. Having certainty around recorded location and journeys unlocks location data for use in many useful applications. We see that as particularly helpful for delivery services, where it could, provide certainty in knowing that an important package has been delivered to your home.

 


Grants

 

BioT: Blockchain Technology for IoT in Intelligent Transportation Systems (Autumn 2017 – Spring 2019)

Design Informatics is exploring the value of location verification in supporting new forms of geo-spatial interaction with data. This is in the context of finding new ways to support active travel and low carbon journeys. This work investigates the types of smart contracts and location-based Blockchain services that reliable location verification might enable through series of design focussed workshops and prototypes. We are exploring the potential value of being able to verify aspects of individuals’ locations and journeys, and techniques to do this while maintaining privacy. Based on this infrastructure, we are generating possibilities for harnessing spatial value in future services, utilising the concept of minimal disclosure when sharing verifiable location data. This is materialised through prototypes of Blockchain IoT enhanced active travel schemes and other geo-located smart contract applications.

For more details on this grant please click here.

Dr Dave Murray-Rust, Dr Ella Tallyn, Dr Evan Morgan, Joe Revans and Eleonora Muller

 

PETRAS Transport and Mobility (TRaM) Demonstration Fund (Winter 2018)

Additional funding was secured by the GeoPact for the development of a participatory workshop to communicate the scope of the project to a general audience. This culminated in demonstration events at the Tate Exchange, London, the University of Warwick, and the University of Edinburgh.

For more details on this grant please click here.

Dr Dave Murray-Rust, Dr Ella Tallyn, Dr Evan Morgan, Joe Revans and Eleonora Muller

 

BLING: Blockchains in Governments (Spring 2019 – Spring 2020)

Together with SESTrans, the University and Edinburgh are developing a “demonstrator” which shows the GeoPact concept in a form suitable for the general public. This builds will build on existing work with the aim of carrying out small scale pilot studies that investigate the possibilities of the technology, with an eye to ideating how it could be deployed by local governments, and to building understanding around issues of acceptability and privacy.

For more details on this grant please click here.

Dr Dave Murray-Rust, Dr Ella Tallyn, Joe Revans


 

Innovation In Housing Exhibition


GeoPact was exhibited at the Innovation In Housing exhibition hosted by the University of Edinburgh, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations. For more information on the hosts please click here

 

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BLING Conference in Gothenburg


Dr Dave Murray-Rust presented the work being done by the GeoPact team to attendees of Interreg’s BLING conference in Gothenburg. For more information please click here

 

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Chain Re:Action Event


GeoPact was presented at Chain Re:Action, a knowledge sharing event organised by Dr Bettina Nissen and Ailie Rutherford exploring blockchains and feminist economics. For more details about this event please click here

 

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B-IoT at SURFLOGH


Attendees to the Interreg SURFLOGH conference were given a chance to try out GeoPact first hand during a visit to Design Informatics. For more details please click here

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PETRAS Conference


Dr Ella Tallyn presented GeoPact to attendees at the PETRAS conference at the The Institute of Engineering and Technology in London, and took part in the panel discussion on ‘Realising the socioeconomic benefits of an interconnected world’. For more details about this event please click here

 

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GeoPact at the Scottish Parliament


GeoPact was presented at the Scottish Parliament Building on 23rd April 2019 as part of the Value of Data evening reception hosted by the Digital Marketing Association. For more details about this event please click here

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GeoPact at the University of Edinburgh


For two days, the GeoPact team welcomed industry experts and members of the public to take part in location-based smart contracts in the Informatic Forum’s courtyard. For more details about this event click here

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GeoPact at the University of Warwick


For two days, GeoPact was hosted by the University of Warwick, allowing staff, students and visitors a chance to explore smart contracts on campus.

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Living with the Internet of Things


When: 8-9 February 12:00-18:00 drop in free event

Location: Tate Exchange at the Tate Modern, Blavatnik Building, Level 5, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG

 

PETRAS Internet of Things Research Hub, is holding an event to showcase a number of its research projects in the Tate Exchange. This will be a drop-in event over 2 days which is free and open to the public. Throughout the 2 days will be 10-minute talks from researchers across the projects including one by our own Professor Chris Speed who will talk about “The Art of Things” at 13:00 on Saturday the 9th of February (no booking required).

Design Informatics will be showing two pieces as part of the event- GeoPact and Karma Kettles.

 

GeoPact

GeoPact has been developed to explore new urban transport and delivery solutions. The system collects and verifies location data from smart objects with certainty and security, unlocking its potential for everyday use. Smart contracts help us harness this data, linking it to real-life transactions, with a variety of possible applications. It could help governments measure and prove carbon reduction targets, enable drivers to prove a record of safe driving for insurance purposes or even let you know for sure when an important package has been left on your doorstep.

GeoPact presents a vision of the future that explores a fusion of location-based IoT and ledger technology. Focusing specifically on verifying the location of smart objects and vehicles, we consider futuristic new models of consumption and essential low carbon transport solutions. Demos of the system will be shown at the Tate and a follow up workshop involving electric scooters will take place in Edinburgh on the 12thand 13thof March, more information on that event here- https://www.designinformatics.org/event/geopact-demonstration/

 

Karma Kettles

The Karma Kettle considers the expansion of distributed systems as a way to support more flexible energy infrastructures. In contrast to centralised national grids, distributed systems require lower initial investment, which allows for smaller enterprises to produce and sell energy in a free market economy.

The Karma Kettle simulates a context of distributed energy generation where domestic batteries contribute to store part of the energy available in the grid, ultimately helping to balance on and off-peak times and prices. The kettle displays states of scarcity and abundance of energy in the grid and in the storage grid and rewards users for pulling or pushing energy into the grid according to the state of the grid contributing to their energy “karma”. For example, if energy is highly available in the grid and in storage, users are encouraged to use it, this way, using energy would contribute to a positive karma. If energy is scarce in the grid and in storage, users are encouraged to push stored energy into the network. In this case, using would contribute to a negative karma. The project attempts to investigate the potential for IoT devices to support end consumer energy trade and bottom-up energy generation.

At TATE the Karma Kettles will be presented as a game where two participants compete or collaborate with each other in order to balance the grid according to (or despite of) challenges encountered in the period of 24-hours.

 

 

More Information on the other projects and talks at Tate Exchange here- https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/tate-exchange/workshop/living-internet-things

PETRAS is funded by the EPSRC and DCMS and comprises of researchers from 11 UK universities: UCL, Imperial College London, Lancaster University, University of Oxford, University of Warwick, Cardiff University, University of Edinburgh, University of Southampton, University of Surrey, University of Bristol and Newcastle University. https://www.petrashub.org

 

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EPRSC

BioT and TRaM Partner

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PETRAS

BioT and TRaM Partner

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Interreg

BLING Partner

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SEStran

BLING Partner

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