For the past decade, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been a buzzword. The idea of smart devices talking to each other is very futuristic and attractive. Amazon’s Echo already automates and controls home devices ranging from music, temperature, lighting, and door locks. Soon most home appliances will be able to communicate with each other. Imagine a refrigerator placing an order for carrots when the vegetable drawer is empty, or home lighting that changes based on music selection.
These concepts continue to grow exponentially, promising to expand into and optimize other industries like manufacturing. But before we can live in a city of the future, several issues need to be addressed in an internet-connected world. Machine Exchange Coin (MXC) promises to facilitate communication between devices while paying users to do so.
What is MXC?
Created in 2018, MXC is a series of protocols designed to facilitate communication between IoT devices. In the current paradigm, consumer devices need to be either on the same WiFi network or within Bluetooth range to communicate. The data transferred between devices can also be bottlenecked if the devices try to send information simultaneously. This is called “data collision” and can cut down on speed and reliability. MXC allows data between devices to be prioritized and coordinated, eliminating data collisions.
The MXC protocol operates on the low-power wide-area network or LPWAN. This alternative to WiFi or Bluetooth can connect devices up to 20 km (12.4 miles)apart and run using battery-powered sensors. Think of it as a long-range Bluetooth except that each device can connect to 60,000 others on the same network. The last time I checked my Bluetooth headset could only connect to 2 devices and tapped out at 30 feet or a thin wall.
LPWAN devices collect data and upload it to the cloud where it is analyzed. While it is not widely used today, the LPWAN enjoys support by industry titans like IMB, Cisco, Alibaba, and others. Market research expects the sector to reach over $65 billion by 2025.
The high-connectivity and low-power requirements of the LPWAN standard make it a prime candidate for automating smart cities. Smart cities promise to track city services and changes in real-time. Coordinating traffic lights, emergency services, electricity distribution, waste management, and transportation services currently operate in information silos. Any information collected is not shared across their neighboring utilities.
Several cities have already started to lay down the groundwork for this infrastructure. In Shanghai, the government is using the technology to:
- Measure real-time usage of public facilities to predict future usage.
- Collect data for green initiatives, i.e. air quality, water purity and CO2 levels.
- Measure utility usage with smart meters in apartments.
- Aggregate garbage bin collection based on fullness levels. Bins are collected at 80% capacity.
Szechuan is also on the cutting edge of innovation. MXC is working with the local government to
- Measure real-time usage of public facilities to plan preventative maintenance
- Establishing the MXC Protocol which will allow third-party IoT projects to connect to the network and develop their own solutions.
MXC is also the only IoT project granted approval to the Blockchain Service Network (BSN). The BSN is a national blockchain of China, backed by several tech firms including China Mobile. Companies must be invited by the Chinese government before gaining access to it, which MXC has achieved.
Private Companies Also Benefit
The private sector can also benefit significantly from the secure flow of data. Factories can monitor every piece of running equipment in real-time on their private network free of interference. Breakdowns and maintenance schedules are addressed immediately, reducing the amount of downtime needed. This analyzed data could also be shared with any regulatory body or repair service.
The Chinese retailer JD is already incorporating MXC into its logistics network for live product tracking. It’s LPWAN network is being piloted in warehouses to improve its asset management. This is simply one company MXC has worked with, others include Airbus, DB, and Hyundai.
To encourage the adoption of these services, the MXC token prioritizes the data sent and received between devices. The MXProtocol ensures the timely transmission of data securely while compensating users. Devices can bid on network bandwidth, with the highest bidder getting their data pushed through first. This mechanism, or Contour Payment, is very similar to paying for Bitcoin transactions.
These Contour Payments allow transactions to take place in less than 4 seconds, regardless of geographic location.
The MXC team is a productive lot. Their blog posts regularly update tracking protocol updates, hardware development, and partners who have expressed interest in the project. In July alone, they have updated their iOS app to allow staking, pre-sold their M2 Pro Miners, and announced a patent on LPWAN technology.
MXC has also received a grant from the Chinese government and opened a new office in Sichuan province. The Vice Deputy Director of the Science and Technology Committee of Yangpu District, Ma Qing, stated:
“Our agreement with the MXC Foundation will accelerate industrial innovation, provide technical support for the development of smart cities in Shanghai Yangpu District, and provide comprehensive, high-quality social organizations, enterprises and residential areas in the district, thanks to the increased efficiency of the city’s IoT network.”
Clearly, China understands the importance of Smart City integration. It is only a matter of time before the rest of the world wakes up to the Internet of Things’ inevitable future.