Team develops first blockchain that can’t be hacked by quantum computer

2 Jun 2017

Concept image of quantum computer. Image: Timofeev Vladimir/Shutterstock

It was a busy week for IoT technologies, with Russia preparing its networks for quantum computer hacks through blockchain.

Earlier this week, Irish forestry organisation Coillte revealed its latest effort to get into the ‘internet of trees’ space following a €1.2m deal with the European Space Agency to roll out a tree growth analytics system, including a unique tree sensor device.

When operational, the sensors will create a kind of mesh network that maps out a digital forest. The resulting data will be transmitted via satellite to provide real-time analytics for forest managers.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean, Android co-founder Andy Rubin was discussing the prevalence of smart home assistants on the market, and how they are creating a disjointed ecosystem.

Rubin was speaking as part of the launch of Android’s new Essential Home device and a new open source, smart assistant operating system called Ambient OS.

“All of these [companies] have ecosystem envy and want to create their own ecosystem,” Rubin said.

“But consumers don’t want just Samsung stuff in their house. They want diversity.”

World’s first unhackable blockchain for quantum computers

The fields of blockchain and quantum computing are fascinating and complex in their own regard, but new research from Russia claims that a merger between the two could be very interesting.

According to the International Business Times, a team from the Russian Quantum Center in Moscow has developed quantum blockchain technology that would prevent any hacker from accessing connections, despite the computing technology still being experimental.

As has been explained before, blockchain is the technology that makes a transaction of currency or information traceable and transparent to both parties and, by its nature, is supposed to be incredibly secure.

However, when quantum computers enter the mainstream, this might not be the case as their incredible processing power would be able to crack any encryption.

“Parties that communicate via a quantum channel can be completely sure that they are talking to each other, not anybody else,” said Alexander Lvovsky, group lead of the research.

“This is the main idea. Then we had to reinvent the entire blockchain architecture to ‘fit’ our new authentication technology, thereby making this architecture immune to quantum computer attacks.”

Tekelek signs $1.4m deal on Canada trade mission

Earlier this week (29 May), Enterprise Ireland held a trade mission in Canada with a focus on IoT, led by Minister Sean Canney, TD.

The biggest success at the event was with Clare-based Tekelek, which signed a $1.4m deal with PayGo, a company that provides sensors for businesses to monitor fuel consumption remotely and make changes where necessary.

As part of the deal, Tekelek will begin developing an intrinsically safe sensor to facilitate the expansion of PayGo’s service offering in the US and Canadian markets.

Oliver McCarthy, general manager of Tekelek, said: “We’re very excited to apply this thinking and our technology to the industrial fuels marketplace, and we’re similarly pleased to partner with an organisation of PayGo’s calibre to bring our technologies to the North America market.”

Dublin tests smart solutions to address city flooding

Dublin City Council’s (DCC) Smart Dublin initiative has announced a partnership with the Connect Centre and Intel to deploy low-cost sensors across the capital to monitor rainfall, weather conditions and river levels.

The new sensors will communicate data wirelessly to DCC’s operations team, which will analyse water levels and use Connect’s Pervasive Nation IoT network to provide city authorities with an early warning of potential flooding.

Jamie Cudden, DCC’s Smart City programme manager, said: “Dublin is emerging as a leading location for smart city and IoT innovations.

“Intel’s Dublin Living Lab programme has already carried out some initial flood monitoring activity across the city, which has led to the prototyping of a set of river and rainfall sensors.”

New autonomous car test method could cut costs by 99.9pc

Autonomous cars are gradually heading onto our open roads, albeit with a driver behind the wheel to make sure everything goes OK during the trials.

Now, a new method of testing these cars developed by the University of Michigan may have found a way to drastically cut the amount of time it could take to make them road-legal.

Developed using data from more than 40m km of driving in the real world, a team of researchers believes that they can save 99.9pc of the testing time and costs with their system.

The evaluation process breaks down typical driving situations into components that can be tested or simulated over and over again, exposing autonomous vehicles to a condensed set of the most challenging driving situations.

This, the researchers argue, means that 1,600km of testing would equate to 1.6m km in real-world testing, but, in order to make the public feel safe being in these vehicles, as much as 20bn km of testing will need to be done.

The team’s white paper is published here.

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic