Hitachi, a Japanese multinational conglomerate company operating eleven business segments, and KDDI, a Tokyo-based telecommunications operator with the consolidating revenue of $34.4bn, announced the series of experiments involving blockchain and biometrics. For the next few days, the group of employees from both companies will be settling the fingerprint retail system for Mr. Donuts at Takadanobaba and KDDI stores in Shinjuku.
Hitachi explained, in this particular project, the blockchain system is a layer integrated with Hitachi’s biometric verification and KDDI’s coupons system. The process is quite straightforward.
- The store need to accept coupons.
- Then, shoppers verify their identity with a fingerprint reading device.
- The fabric starts building a block of data out of the information received.
- The data gets encrypted and broadcasted to the blockchain network.
That being said, the system used in this experiment was built on top of Hyperledger Fabric. As the press release states, unlike other blockchains, with this particular project, biometric information can be generated as a secret key automatically.
Hitachi’s interest in blockchain
Notably, this is not Hitachi’s first time testing a blockchain platform for the use case. Other trials have included Mizuho Financial Group and a research lab in the U.S. in determining whether the Japanese multinational conglomerate company can use an immutable ledger to record orders, invoices and other types of data.
Hitachi, ranked 38th in the 2012 Fortune Global 500 and 129th in the 2012 Forbes Global 2000, has been innovative since its founding in 1910. In the press released, they mentioned the company will continue to support and examine new business models to produce new services in various fields.
Image: Jack Moreh