Internet of Things & Blockchain Technology

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Predicted to bring economic change, Industry 4.0 represents the fourth industrial revolution where transformative techniques are radically changing the face of manufacturing and are set to impact massively on building technologies and construction methods.

Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the application of unique identifiers to physical objects that enables them to be connected to a network allowing the transfer of data to and from those objects. Construction methods are being dramatically improved by using the IoT as a systems integrator to collect, interrogate and transmit data. Computing devices, mechanical and digital machines provided with unique identifiers have the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. The connection of these sensors provides even more value with IoT which can enable real time data collection and management on a high scale.

Blockchain is fundamentally a distributed ledger of information, such as transactions or agreements, that are stored across a network of computers and shared between all organisations that are collaborating over a project. The companies involved define the rules, deadlines and penalties, which the Blockchain then automatically enforces.

The information is stored chronologically, can be viewed by the community of users, but is decentralised and is not usually managed by an authority such as a bank or a government, and once published, the information on the Blockchain cannot be changed. It therefore shares some similarities with a typical cloud system or other shared stores on the internet. But instead of having only one source where the information is stored with multiple accesses, there are multiple stores which are simultaneously being updated.

What opportunities will this rapidly advancing technology bring to the construction industry? Find out on Day 2 from:

> Nick Tune, Digital Director UKE - Atkins
> Balint Penzes, Consultant - PWC

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