Modern city living involves many small aggravations – such as having to wait at home for a delivery or being unable to find, let alone pay for, a parking spot. But thanks to a new partnership between Orange and SmartKey, these frustrations can be a thing of the past.

Using SmartKey’s blockchain technology, Orange will be one of the first telecom operators to provide internet of things (IoT) solutions to smart cities, kick-starting the widespread implementation of the blockchain of things in a real-world series of use cases.

SmartKey is a universal global communication standard comparable to Bluetooth that integrates devices at short distances. Thanks to this integration, it’s possible to register devices with an Orange SIM card in the blockchain network and then generate and distribute NFTs created by SmartKey that access keys in the publicly available SmartKey blockchain network.

Orange’s Live Objects platform, powered by SmartKey, is now a leading integrator of the blockchain IoT (BIoT) model for the cities of the future, and a leading urban platform that supports and manages intelligent infrastructure including lighting, remote utility meter readings and safe device control based on blockchain decentralized applications (dapps).

SmartKey and Orange’s cooperation is beginning in Poland, where SmartKey is headquartered. The partnership will then be rolled out globally, with more than 2,000 cities integrated into the platform.

Orange Polska is the largest telecommunications operator in Poland and a leader of IoT solutions in over 80 Polish cities. It also provides over 2 million SIM cards for machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT solutions.

The first use case for the partnership will be the expansion of the successful SmartKey "rescue without barriers" pilot, where emergency services in Olsztyn, Poland, use SmartKey to gain immediate access to every neighborhood and building in the area, greatly reducing response times and saving lives. This will be implemented in all cities in Poland where Orange offers smart city services.

Urban transportation services can also be integrated, such as the short-term renting of cars, bikes and scooters, as well as vehicle services like paying for parking, finding a free parking space and charging an electric car.

Further use cases are being actively developed on Orange’s Live Objects platform. These can include everything from sensors for light, sound, passive infrared motion, temperature, pressure and humidity, to 3-axis digital accelerometers, GPS modules, tilt switches, magnetic door switches and screw connectors.

This partnership “will accelerate our mission to be the connective tissue of the smart cities of the future and pave the way to offering flexible and secure IoT solutions,” says Szymon Fiedorowicz, CEO and co-founder of SmartKey.

Moreover, it has the potential to exponentially improve city life.

“The combination of blockchain technology and the internet of things is a real revolution not only in the world of technology, but also in the global economy,” says Sebastian Grabowski, director of IoT and Advanced Technologies at Orange.

While smart devices and the internet of things are not new ideas, their uptake has been slow due to cross-brand incompatibility issues: Same-brand devices talk to each other, but not to devices made by different companies. The combination of a universal communication standard for devices and secure individual keys for access will bring the potential of smart devices to life.

“A wide variety of smart devices does not form a network, any more than a collection of houses forms a city,” says Grabowski. “Building a network or city requires an infrastructure that connects IoT technology with the end user in a safe and unquestionable way, which can be provided by blockchain.”

With existing expansion plans that include Asia, Europe and North America, the partnership between SmartKey and Orange is finally making the promise of smart living a reality.

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