Can you tell us about the Origins story?
Origins started out from a personal frustration Samantha had with traceability in the ethical garment manufacturing space. Samantha is also the founder of ethical clothing label Little Yellow Bird which has been testing and using the Origins system during the pilot stages. Tracing raw materials back to source is a really complicated, time consuming and often impossible task that currently relies on outdated systems.
Our goal was to change this and make it easier for consumers to understand the journey behind the products they purchase. John came on board as technical co-founder and has been the driving force in integrating the NEM blockchain to make textile supply chains more transparent.
How does Origins work?
From a consumer perspective all you do is scan a QR code via your standard camera app. As an example, LYB now has QR codes sewn into the wash-care label in some trial lines. When you scan it you can see all of the steps in the supply chain with relevant stats and history relating to this garment. You can view the clothes here.
Why is Origins an important use case for blockchain?
Transparency in the fashion industry is something that is lacking but blockchain technology has a real opportunity to change this.
The unique features of a blockchain, and in particular the NEM blockchain, offers something really compelling to a consumer when they buy products (normally at a premium price) because of the sustainability or ethical claims that the brand makes. When a brand willingly puts onto an immutable and public ledger, the manufacturing flow or claims of their product, they are showing true accountability and openness that they are standing by their claims. This will give them a competitive advantage and will help their long term credibility.
Why did you decide to use NEM? How does it work?
NEM is a popular blockchain with a very strong community. It also has excellent developer documentation supported by solid SDK’s and tools. NEM’s NIS API makes it a breeze to work with from any programming language. By using a Proof of Importance consensus protocol instead of a Proof of Work consensus algorithm makes it more environmentally friendly to run which was important to us.
Origins uses mobile devices that are authorised with embedded certificates to scan a QR code that follows a product or batch through its supply chain. As it moves through each supply chain step, the QR code is scanned. The scan must take place not only from an authorised device but from a certain latitude and longitude location as defined for that supply chain step. Only then will a valid transaction be submitted to the chain that contains a specific message for that product or batch. When a consumer purchases the product they can track its journey by scanning a QR code where all the transactions are revealed.
Some technical aspects of our application:
- Microservices architecture
- API gateway data driven allowing customers/brands to use our app hosting, or to host directly on their own frontend web platform
- Bespoke caching system
- Highly configurable for clients to change the look and feel as they wish
- Onramp for transactions to the chain are done with mobile devices
- Geo-spatial integration to allow scanning and for transactions to be sent to the chain only from certain latitude and longitude locations with x metre buffer
We are looking forward to the upcoming Aggregate Transaction feature in Catapult and being able to implement that into the product.
What are you currently working on?
We’ve just completed our third milestone under the old community fund and are looking towards completing an application for consideration under NEM ventures. We can’t give too much away but we are about to release a pretty high profile pilot with a national sporting event that will be integrating Origins with over 1200 people wearing Origins/NEM tracked garments. We will be in a position to disclose details for this event later this year.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far? And what are you looking forward to in the future?
I think getting to this point has been an accomplishment in itself. It’s taken a lot of creative planning and grit to get through to this stage, especially with the winding down and significant changes that happened with the Community Fund. We’re looking forward to being able to build a solid team around this idea in the coming months to really get some steam behind this project.
How do people sign up/ use it?
We’re still finalising our pricing structure at the moment, but if you’re keen to be an early adopter drop us a line as you may be able to sneak in for free as we plan to start charging very soon.
Short demo videos of the live app:
- Consumer frontend
- Frontend cache file creation
- API call speed with caching on and off
- Authorising and deauthorizing a scanning device
- Authorised scanning device but not within specified geo-location
- Authorised scanning device within specified geo-location
Stay in contact with Origins:
About NEM Foundation
The NEM Foundation is registered in Singapore and is operating globally. It was launched to promote NEM’s blockchain technology worldwide, an out-of-the-box enterprise-grade blockchain platform which launched in March 2015. NEM has industry leading blockchain features that include: multisignature account contracts, customizable assets, a naming system, encrypted messaging, and an Eigentrust++ reputation system. It is one of the most well-funded and successful blockchain technology projects in the cryptocurrency industry.
Stay connected with NEM: