The Payments & IoT hackathon is heading to BUCHAREST!
Get ready to wire up and explore the future of payment transactions! The time and place are the weekend of November 3-5, 2017, Bucharest, Romania. Worldpay will be organising a hackathon revolving around payment transactions at the Internet of Things level. This hackathon’s design space explores a fascinating question: Just how self-sufficient can we make a machine? Between recent AI and IoT innovations, machines have very few thresholds left to conquer. But one of those barriers we’re proposing to breech is the concept of letting a robot pay its own way.
The focus of this event will be taking digital payments to the next level, applied to smart devices. Worldpay’s own platform is Worldpay Within, an embeddable agent which enables smart devices to handle transactions. Here’s the juicy details of the Worldpay Within platform. Programming language hooks for Worldpay Within include Node.js, Python, Java, .NET, and Google Go, so there’s bound to be a favorite language handy.
WorldPay Within’s hackathon has three challenges:
* Smart City – IoT transactions at the city infrastructure layer, easing transactions between components.
* Smart Home – The usual appliance rodeo, so your refrigerator cannot only order more milk but can pay the invoice on the spot.
* Smart living – Personal devices, wearables, and accessories.
Worldpay Within’s process involves four steps: Discovery, Selection, Payment, and Release (think of it as an acknowledgement). Device A broadcasts “I need to buy a thing.” Device B answers “I sell things right over here.” Device A says “Here are some credits, give me the thing.” Device B says “Here’s your thing and your receipt.” Then we guess they make small talk about the weather, but that’s a story for a different day.
Here’s one demonstration Proof of Concept, using the application of recharging stations for electric cars:
The point is about bringing micro-payment transactions to smart devices, enabling them to automagically pay their own way when it would be more convenient. There are many practical applications to consider here, not all of them immediately obvious. Along with the charging station example in the video, cars could handle their own parking meter and toll booth payments.
While there is fringe interest in this feature, some reviewers express hesitation at giving a machine the autonomous ability to make purchases on its own. The reluctance of some consumers to adopt this technology – an admittedly obvious concern – is the possibility of outside security breaches and leaked private data. Indeed, the idea of providing your espresso maker with its own debit card and data link does bring to mind all kinds of chaotic scenarios, like a bug making it accidentally buy cases of the wrong filter.
Or, there could be things running around buying other things, some of which can also buy more things, and then what happens when something goes haywire and you come home to find out your fish tank ordered three truckloads of pump filters? And of course, this money would actually be your money, since the fish tanks, as far as we’re able to surmise, do not have their own jobs.
Sounds like a job for blockchains!
There’s isn’t necessarily a big “blockchain” banner over the event, but there is a hint that it’s a nice idea. Blockchains just keep getting more exciting every month; even outside of the base of cryptocurrency, blockchains are useful by themselves as a self-authenticating method for smart devices. BlockGeeks.com has a whole post on 17 applications where blockchains are showing up already – for things like smart properties, healthcare, smart appliances, the insurance industry, and official documents. In the case of IoT payment transactions, blockchain technology could help shore up the concerns over security and privacy – within reasonable bounds, at least.
We’re predicting this idea will catch on with time. After all, we already imbue cash value to physical tokens in real life right now. A gift card, bus pass, and subway token are already physical items that pay for things. You trust these items with your money already. This isn’t completely about your sneakers buying pizza, but on the industrial level where a hand truck making 14 stops at vending machines on a campus can now be responsible for its own inventory, with the company refreshing its balance once a month.
Starting to make more sense now, isn’t it?
Another aspect not mentioned up front is that if a device is enabled to make payments, it can also be enabled to collect payments too, and that opens up whole new avenues of commerce. Now we have an Internet of Things which are paying each other. When you come down to it, electronic money is just one more kind of data to transmit and receive, something we already do on a broad scale. You can micromanage every nickel when your car goes through the car wash, or you can just let your smart car pay the car wash smart bots and leave you out of it.
But who needs excuses where there’s a hackathon? There’s access to the open source SDK, cash prizes for winners, and they’ll have Raspberry Pis and Legos to build with―all the more reason for Bucharest’s tech enthuzies to head down to the Impact Hub November 3-5 and hack away.
Stay up-to-date on the Payments & IoT hack via twitter : @Worldpay_Global @BemyappRomania #IOTPay