Many people have been asking us to release an updated roadmap for the project and the time has now come.
Before talking about what’s next, it makes sense to look back at the path we rode and examine where the project currently stands.
2021 was a year of explosive growth for PlanetWatch. We deployed tens of thousands of sensors by building a global community of over 40,000 registered users. The team set up an IT infrastructure that enabled the processing of data streams from all connected sensors – the first blockchain-based air quality ledger in the world was born.
In the process, PlanetWatch became the largest project on the Algorand blockchain in terms of daily transactions. Last but not least, we got our Planets token listed on some major exchanges.
On the other hand, the first three quarters of 2022 have been very challenging for PlanetWatch. On top of global issues, affecting all technology-driven companies and crypto projects in the world, we had to face a supply crisis for suitable air quality sensors on the market. As a consequence, we could not fulfill our sensor waiting list timely, which generated customer frustration. This was exacerbated by a dispute with a sensor manufacturer, which at some point forced us to remove a large number of devices from the network and set up a major resilience plan to protect our community.
All in all, hardware-related challenges had a negative impact on the sentiment around PlanetWatch. Ultimately, this affected the price evolution of Planets tokens.
Despite the challenges, we remained focused on paving the way for future growth. Here are some recent highlights and milestones achieved:
We have now secured a large sensor stock with reliable suppliers and have also completed the execution of the Element Community Resilience Plan.
Our existing air quality monitoring network is already generating business-grade datasets for several major cities in Europe. A concrete example is Madrid, Spain. In March 2022, PlanetWatch’s outdoor network in Madrid enabled the detection and analysis of a major dust storm. The added value brought by our hyperlocal data with respect to information from sparse governmental networks has been clearly demonstrated in a number of cities. We will soon publish a blog post with more details. Also, two scientific papers jointly authored by PlanetWatch and an academic institution have leveraged PlanetWatch indoor from two hotels (see for example this one).
So far, PlanetWatch data monetization has been scattered and preliminary. However, it is important to note that outdoor data from Type 1 devices are already being sold to some local government institutions in Italy, in the form of offline reports, while indoor data of their own venues are being purchased by some high-end hotels. Most importantly, we have recently released the initial version of our API, which will enable automatic real-time retrieval of PlanetWatch datasets to be injected into third-party apps. This tool opens the way to scalable data monetization, which will benefit the whole PlanetWatch ecosystem and create strong demand for Planets.
PlanetWatch has attained significant global visibility in 2022, which is demonstrated by invitations to speak at major events such as Consensus 2022 and SALT NY. We have also been invited to join the recently created World Economic Forum Crypto Sustainability Coalition. Finally, PlanetWatch has won the French Unicorn Pitch Competition and the Blockchain for Impact Award.
There are several major projects in the making. As usual, we want to be conservative and refrain from disclosing details before agreements are signed, but we can confirm that previously announced projects such as deployments in Miami Dade County are going to happen soon, along with a number of projects in collaboration with local government institutions in Europe and possibly with an international organization. Additional POCs with companies (some are very large, some are startups) are also being discussed.
Before detailing our roadmap, let’s recap on hard lessons learned so far:
Bearing all this in mind, we can now share a high-level roadmap covering the remainder of 2022 and 2023. Even though we cannot disclose detailed information on each and every item at this stage, you will see that many exciting releases are scheduled before the end of the year!
The tech team is currently completing the onboarding process for new Type 2 (already announced) and Type 4 (yes, a brand new one!) sensors, which will be made available to the community this quarter. The internal testing of the Type 2 device with an upgraded firmware is in its final stage. The new Type 4 device is an indoor sensor which streams data directly to PlanetWatch and features an enhanced end-to-end encryption when compared to previous devices. It complies with our new standards for hardware quality and data security, including Proof of Data Origin, our custom anti-spoof solution.
The API is in constant development to deliver new functionalities that will pave the way for data monetization (read our latest release notes). Over the coming weeks, we are going to release important features, including air quality analytics for both outdoor and indoor, easy retrieval of large datasets, advanced policy-based roles and permission, and accurate billing.
We are also working on full optimization of our data infrastructure, which will result in higher performance and scalability.
Our data science team is now focusing on developing and deploying models to check the quality of our dataset and establishing scientific partnerships on related topics. This is also a key enabler for all our data monetization activities.
Finally, before the end of the year, the Explorer will be improved. One example is a dedicated page for license management that will be live until the end of October.
Since we have already achieved good outdoor coverage in many cities (see table below), where in some cases we have 35 times more sensors than the local government, we are in a position to deliver valuable data and launch data integration proof of concept (POC) projects. We will release more information through dedicated blog posts on POCs as soon as this is appropriate. In our ecosystem, POCs are crucial to find regional partners and clients and attract interest from global players.
We also intend to deliver air quality reports for selected cities where our network is dense enough to extract valuable insights.
We are about to release some very exciting and long awaited new features!
As anticipated by Claudio, we are attaching additional value to PlanetWatch licenses. Owning a PlanetWatch license, even when this is not yet connected to a sensor, will make you eligible to join a PlanetWatch Cohort, depending on the original license purchase date. Cohort membership will unlock a number of exciting benefits and features.
Also, thanks to a partnership with another project in the Algorand ecosystem, all NFT-based PlanetWatch discount vouchers, as well as future PlanetWatch collectibles, will be easily tradable on a NFT marketplace.
On a broader scope we will bring more engagement and gamification to the PlanetWatcher Community. As a direct substantial example, our Discord Server has already applied and is greenlighted to get extended Community Server features which will be integrated into different channels. We will add more useful functions for our users while also improving transparency. After the first systematic integrations there will be a revision and feedback round and we will integrate suggestions from the community on Discord.
In addition, we are about to launch our new support platform as a part of the website revamping. You will find new sections and FAQs about the devices and the network. Here’s a sneak peek:
Finally, by the end of the year, a project that has been mostly on hold for the past few months will resume under a new format: the Ambassador program.
For those who like to showcase and spread the PlanetWatch brand, we will soon release some nifty merchandising items (drinking caps, hoodies, shirts, etc.)
Recently approved governance proposals will be implemented one by one while we plan to submit additional proposals, including one introducing the burning of a fraction of proceeds from future license and data sales.
Last but not least, we will work to launch a hackathon to disseminate the usage of our data and build community-driven impactful solutions.
We are working to close some very interesting partnerships with projects from our ecosystem – hopefully, we will be able to communicate them to our community in the near future!
Additionally, we will also participate in major international events such as the Unicorn Battle, (Oct 20), Web Summit (Nov. 1-4), and Algorand’s Decipher (Nov. 28-30), where we hope to make interesting contacts.
All in all, we are working hard to improve PlanetWatch’s public profile.
Several new and very important developments are planned for 2023. In the first semester, we will extensively work on developing advanced data modeling and experimenting with data fusion in order to enable valuable innovative services and maintain a high network availability.
A full Web3 transition is a key goal for 2023, based on three main deliverables:
Also, we aim to gradually implement Proof of Data Origin technology across all devices in the network.
Finally, you can expect the release of the PlanetWatch Explorer 2.0 which will feature a redesigned map and an overall improved user experience.
Building new API features and a denser network will be instrumental to negotiate ambitious POCs. The challenge is to show evidence for scalable data monetization via large-scale projects with global partners, several partnerships with local government entities and data fusion projects opening the way to additional data products.
Next year we plan to make significant progress towards the transition into a full Web3 project, with advanced governance tools and decentralized data and license sales. In addition, we are keen to organize a global event to federate the PlanetWatch community.
PlanetWatch will undergo a strategic rebranding that will entail a new website and corporate image. The goal is to better reflect our values and at the same time effectively illustrate the value proposition for our potential partners.
We have been keeping our focus and working hard throughout these very challenging months. We know that we are tackling compelling real-world issues and that the PlanetWatch project via its community can really contribute to protecting public health.
We learned a number of hard lessons and we worked to increase the robustness of all processes. We believe that hard work pays, which is demonstrated by what we achieved so far and that we’ll follow through the key deliverables in our roadmap.
The time to act for the Planet is now, and the PlanetWatchers community can make a difference!
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