- BiiLabs, in cooperation with Yallvend, has released the world’s first vending machine upgrade kit that provides reliable ID authentication using the IOTA Tangle technology.
- The solution allows old vending machines to be upgraded with the new system for age-restricted products.
BiiLabs, the Taipei (Taiwan) based Blockchain-as-a-Service company, has announced a partnership with Yallvend, a developer of intelligent vending machines. The special feature of this cooperation is that it uses the decentralized identifiers (DIDs) of the IOTA Tangle technology. The DIDs will be used to provide secure and reliable ID authentication for the sale of age-restricted products at vending machines.
BiiLabs is specialized in the development of distributed ledger technology to meet the challenges of the Internet of Everything. For this purpose, the company uses the IOTA technology, as in the case of vending machines. These use a reliable ID authentication via the decentralized identifiers (DIDs) of the IOTA Tangle protocol.
This allows products with age restrictions to be sold at unmanned machines. Currently, vending machines around the world have a big problem selling age-restricted products such as alcohol and tobacco. A physical identity document must be read for verification. However, this mechanism does not make it possible to check whether the identity card belongs to the buyer.
There are various products worldwide that are sold through vending machines. In Japan and Germany, tobacco products and alcohols are among them. However, every tobacco vending machine in Germany needs an identity verification system. In Japan there are also legal regulations.
As BiiLabs writes in their blog post, the number of alcohol vending machines in Japan has fallen rapidly from 180,000 in 1996 to 3,000 in 2018. In order to buy tobacco from vending machines, for example, even foreigners need a TASPO card to legally purchase tobacco from vending machines in Japan.
Intelligent vending machines with the IOTA Tangle
In order to solve this problem, Yallvend, in cooperation with BiiLabs, presented the world’s first “vending upgrade kit”. This allows old machines to be upgraded and use the ID authentication system developed by BiiLabs.
Users can easily authenticate themselves when purchasing with their smartphone. On the DIDs system, a signed serial number is generated for each user, a receipt with a time stamp is generated before billing is confirmed, and ID, date/time and location information is sent to the vending machine so that unauthorised access is not possible.
The CEO and co-founder of BiiLabs, Lman Chu, said (freely translated):
From the evolvement of vending machines and unmanned stores, we can expect that it is imperative to establish a comprehensive authentication mechanism with the demands for transactions of digital payment and secure ID authentication. As digital ID being gradually promoted amongst government and public sectors, BiiLabs utilizes the advantages of DLT based on IOTA Tangle network and stores data in the blockchain. This is the most reliable and secure choice for ID authentication.
Duncan Huang, CEO of Yallvend, was optimistic that the technology will be deployed and pointed out the lack of reliable ID authentication at vending machines (freely translated):
Products like tobacco and alcohol are sensitive with legislative restrictions. Prior to revising vending machine ID amendments, governments expect to see a go-to-market ID authentication technology.
IOTA and BiiLabs have already been in the news in 2018. BiiLabs and the IOTA Foundation had presented an IOTA-based identity system for the Taipei City Digital Citizen Card. This project was implemented as part of a partnership between the IOTA Foundation and Taipei City to help achieve Taipei City’s Smart City goals.