Sydney-based Ultimo Digital Technologies (UDT) is developing an intelligent IoT ecosystem based on blockchain. It first project UCOT (Ubique Chain of Things) integrates telecommunications, blockchain and IoT to create a system for tracking and monitoring goods during shipment and for establishing provenance.

UDT says UCOT “provides total supply chain traceability, enabling secure data acquisition, tamper-resistant storage and trusted data sharing throughout supply chains [allowing] manufacturers to monitor their products’ journey from the factory floor right into consumers’ hands.”

The company says UCOT will ensure customers receive goods that are authentic and in the best condition possible and will force companies in the supply chain to constantly improve their systems in order to be compliant, cost efficient and to operate more efficiently.

The key IoT component of the system is a small microchip that can be imbedded into a product’s label or packaging and that cannot be tampered with. This communicates information about the packaging to which it is attached that, because the system relies on blockchain, cannot be altered.

Information transmitted can include: time stamped storage temperature throughout the product’s journey; if and how a product was opened/damaged/tampered with, when and where an incident happened.

This, UDT says, allows a retailer or consumer to verify the origin of the product and ensure they are not receiving counterfeit goods, and gives suppliers full transparency into their distribution partner’s transport methods, environment and delivery schedules.

The blockchain layer, based on Ethereum, provides a secure and accessible digital ledger, accessible to all the stakeholders across the supply chain and enables them to make and receive payments.

UDT says two important attributes of blockchain are that it uses high-level encryption technology so can solve one of the critical flaws of the IoT: the inconsistent security standard and that the secure data can be used to implement the commercial contracts.

Early users of UCOT include Australia’s Six Avenue Group that owns a supply chain between Australia and China and operates an e-commerce platform.

“They have decided to upgrade their cross-border supply chain with the UCOT solution and quickly extend their advantages to other international online shopping markets such as Japan, South Korea and the United States,” UDT says.

UCOT has also established MoUs with companies operating in the meat livestock, dairy, shipping, and FMCG industries to develop solutions to which UCOT is applicable.

Ultimo Digital Technologies’ UCOT supply chain ecosystem was Highly Commended in the Best Secondary Industry Project category at the 2018 Australian IoT Awards, which was held at the IoT Festival on 4 June in Melbourne.