Nike and Macy’s participated in a recent blockchain trial

By: Ali Raza
Ali Raza
Ali plays a key role in the cryptocurrency news team. He loves travelling during his spare time and enjoys… read more.
on Mar 6, 2020
Updated: Mar 11, 2020
  • Auburn University's RFID Lab created a blockchain for retailers that will allow them to revolutionize supply chains.
  • The project has run a trial with numerous major brands, including Nike, Macy's, and several others.
  • The developers had to resolve several issues that had prevented retailers from communicating previously, including the lack of a platform and common language.

Blockchain technology continues to work on spreading awareness by trying to help out major apparel brands, from Nike to Macy’s. The emerging tech, developed by Auburn University’s RFID Lab, promises to help the brands with sharing product data across the retail supply chain,

According to a recent study, known as CHIP (Chain Integration Project), these and other brands ran Hyperledger Fabric nodes on a part of their major supply chains, discovering that blockchain might be a very promising way of sharing data.

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Despite the fact that it is relatively new to the distributed ledger technology sector, RFID Lab has been one of the biggest outposts for retailers’ experimentation with emerging technology in the U.S. As a result, CHIP, which started in 2018, ended up being Auburn research institute’s first blockchain project.

The problem of handling data from retailers

So far, numerous retailers have started keeping internal tabs on the movement of their products through RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, which every unit has installed. For example, each box of Nike shoes has one such tag, which helps the company track the movement of its products.

Of course, each retailer has a different practice when it comes to storing tags data, which made it difficult for data interoperability to happen. Blockchain Fellow Allan Gulley said that everyone sends data in a different way, and there was no common language in place, nor a common platform that would allow the companies to share data.

After realizing this, RFID Lab had two opportunities — to create a platform for retailers and to create a common language for them to use. The language aspect was a more difficult task, which took up around 70% of the researchers’ time. Eventually, they built a translator tool that can rework data streams into the EPCIS standard.

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