The Pebble Tracker Is a Prototyping Platform for the Blockchain-Based "Internet of Trusted Things"

Designed to write sensor readings to a secure blockchain, the Pebble Tracker aims to bring security and privacy to the IoT.

Menlo Park-based IoT specialist IoTeX is preparing to launch a high-security, battery-based prototyping platform targeting those looking to combine cellular communications with blockchain data logging: the Pebble Tracker.

"Pebble Tracker is a secure, battery-operated, multi-sensor, cellular-IoT prototyping platform designed for blockchain-based data logging," the company explains of its upcoming device. "Built around Nordic Semiconductor’s latest low-power nRF9160 System-in-Package (SiP) and driven by open-source firmware, Pebble Tracker is equipped with GPS support, a wide assortment of other sensors, NB-IoT/LTE-M connectivity, and advanced security features that make it ideal for sophisticated logistical applications where trust is paramount."

The nRF9160 package at the heart of the board includes an Arm Cortex-M33 processor running at 64MHz, 1MB of flash, 256kB of RAM, and support for Arm's TrustZone via the CryptoCell-310 security subsystem. The model includes support for LTE-M and NB-IoT connectivity in 700-2.2GHz bands, as well as a GPS receiver function time-multiplexed with the LTE modem. An on-board buzzer offers 85dB/min sound pressure measured at 10cm, and bundled sensors include a Bosch BME680 humidity, temperature, pressure, and air quality sensor, ICM-42605 three-axis gyroscope and accelerometer, and an AMSTSL2572 ambient light sensor.

The key to IoTeX's offering isn't really the Pebble Tracker hardware, though: It's the company's blockchain. Built on the same core concept as the blockchains underpinning cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and driven by a token used in much the same way as a cryptocurrency, the IoTeX blockchain looks to bring security and privacy to the Internet of Things — "empowering a decentralized ecosystem for our smart devices," the company claims: "the Internet of Trusted Things."

More information on IoTeX itself and its blockchain concept can be found on the official website, while interested parties can sign up to be notified when the Pebble Tracker crowdfunding campaign goes live over on CrowdSupply.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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