If there is one thing that’s definite about the computers of the future it’s that they are getting smaller. IBM recently released a computer the size of a grain of salt and it’s so small you might need spectacles to see it.
It’s coined the term the world’s smallest computer and despite its technology, it only costs 10 cents to make. The tiny computer has several hundred thousand transistors and has the computing power of the x86 chip that ran the massive computers in the 80’s and 90’s. It may seem slow in comparison to the current computers of today, but its purpose isn’t for that. It’s set to bring the security that blockchain technology has given us to the real world.
Fraud costs the global economy over $500 billion annually. Due to complex supply chains, products and services change hands many times before they reach the final consumer. This makes it easy for people to introduce fake products somewhere in the chain.
Blockchain technology has introduced a new way of digital security for purchasing of products and even signing contracts. The technology has become popular thanks to the likes of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin which uses it to keep transactions secure. A high-level explanation of Blockchain is that it’s an open, distributed network of individual computers that each store digital information known as “blocks”, which are visible to everyone on the network but are kept safe using cryptography. At the current moment, it’s being used solely for online transactions (each transaction has it’s own digital fingerprint) however, if you could apply this to real life products you would give the supply chain the same airtight security. IBM has already applied it to food-supply chains but with the introduction of this tiny computer, real-world Blockchain security could go mainstream.
The computer isn’t quite ready yet, but the first models could be ready in the next 18 months.