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  1. L.L. Bean Inc. wants to test the combination of blockchain and Internet of Things technology to understand how people use its outdoor gear. In a test due to begin this year, L.L. Bean plans to ship a line of coats and boots with sewn-in sensors that send data to the public Ethereum blockchain platform. The retailer is building a data tracking and analytics system to use customer data stored on Ethereum. Loomia, a Brooklyn-based technology company, plans to provide sheets of flexible circuitry to embed in the apparel, along with a small hardware device that uses near-field communication signals to collect data from the circuits while the customers wears the garments. Chad Leeder, innovation specialist at the outdoors gear provider, says the information, likely to include temperature, frequency of wear and number of washes, could show whether customers use the products as intended and whether new products live up to supplier promises. Insights could be funneled into product development, marketing and supplier negotiations, he says. Although L.L. Bean has collected customer comments for years, the data from this system would be more quantified, Mr. Leeder says. “Digital, quantifiable data about how customers are actually using a product — we’ve never had that data before.” Blockchain technology is well-suited for the test because the ledger encrypts data and lets many sources make updates continuously, he says. More at source link: https://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2018/02/07/l-l-bean-to-link-boots-coats-to-a-blockchain/ https://www.inc.com/erik-sherman/ll-beans-new-iot-blockchain-tech-combo-is-very-smart-and-incredibly-creepy.html
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