Tech

Steve Kaaru

Blockchain-powered fridge allows users to ‘control’ power consumption

Blockchain technology is already being applied to almost every other area in our lives. But electronics giant Bosch and Austrian power supplier Wien Energy managed to find one new way of applying the technology—on a refrigerator.

According to Wien Energy’s press release, the new refrigerator—demonstrated at the recently held ANON Blockchain Summit in Vienna—can do more than just preserve your food items. It will “control and influence their electricity consumption in a safe and transparent manner in the future.” Users will do this via an app on their smartphones or tablets. The app lets a user set the temperature of the fridge and the freezer compartments. This directly controls power consumption.

The app also has other functions such as alerting the user if the door is left open. It also provides analytics on the power consumption over time as well as the carbon dioxide footprint.

However, the new device’s best attribute is that it will allow its users to become active participants in the energy market. For every kilowatt-hour that the device gets, there will be a transaction confirmation and a clear proof of origin, made possible by blockchain technology. Wien Energy, which is the largest energy provider in Austria, explained:

“This means that whether the energy comes from the photovoltaic system of the neighboring building or from the wind farm on the way to work, everyone decides themselves. The way from production to consumption can be viewed transparently thanks to blockchain forgery-proofed control.”

Wien Energy and Bosch will test the device in the coming months. They have enlisted three customers to participate in the pilot. The two believe that the refrigerator is the building block to a future in which households will turn to active participants in the electricity market.

The Wien Energy CEO Peter Gönitzer stated: “We see the blockchain technology as an opportunity for us and are already testing the possibilities in practice with pilot customers. The goal is to make the topic of energy more vulnerable and comprehensible in the future. So far, the power is simply coming out of the socket, while the blockchain can give the power a machine.”

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