We store in the Blockchain the delivery smart contracts and the proofs that can have an impact to the financial flows linked to the contracts. Other events as pictures or data frequently sent from sensors are stored off-chain. For a secure and decentralized file system, we store files for instance into IPFS (InterPlanetary File System).
The easiest and cheapest way to track the parcel is to use the mobile phone sensors and the Internet connection of the courier. In mostly cases, a connection via mobile phone should be enough and used by couriers, who need to develop and maintain a good reputation if they want activity and profit.
The next scheme shows the IT architecture for a courier or transporter holding the parcel all the time during the travel. In that case, the mobile phone of the courier or transporter sends frequently package’s sensors data and its GPS location to an off-chain data processor engine. Furthermore, the mobile phones of participants in the delivery process contains an application linked to an Ethereum wallet, and which allows sending and signing messages to the Ethereum Blockchain.
User web application
The web application is a distributed application (Dapp) allowing owners of objects creating delivery smart contracts and tracking parcels. The user can generate his private postboxes or select public postboxes when creating delivery smart contracts.
Events from the Blockchain allows the user knowing who has the parcel at any time. Charts and map allows visually following the parcel or looking back to the history of contracts or events received from the parcel or the Blockchain.
In some cases, we can imagine connecting the sensors directly from the objects. The electronic device can include the next features:
- Micro sensors (temperature, magnetometer …)
- GPS module
- Microcontroller and Cryptographic Authentication
- Low-energy consumption and communication with a global network
Note: at this time, we do not have a global network. However, some networks dedicated to the Internet of Things, offer already a coverage growing quickly in the world.
A user who wants to send or receive a parcel without necessity to meet the courier can use a physical smart postbox with:
- A network connection
- A digital scale
- A camera
- An automatic unlocking system linked to the postbox smart contract
Note: a smart contract is created for each postbox. For public postboxes, rental fee and maximum deposit are predefined in the smart contract by the postbox owner.