Jaguar, NTT team up with tech group on remote access software

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Berlin-based technology group IOTA said on Wednesday it has teamed up with several large corporations around the world such as Jaguar Land Rover and NTT Data in the launch of software that would grant consumers remote access and control of items such as cars and appliances.

The software, called IOTA Access and developed by the University of Cambridge as well as a European start-up three years ago, also grants and revokes conditional access by individuals other than the user to the physical devices.

IOTA, which specializes in distributed ledgers - a technology similar to blockchain - has teamed up with British luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc, European chipmaker STMicroelectronics, and Japan’s NTT Data, among other companies, to launch IOTA Access, it said in a statement.

Global companies are exploring blockchain applications to figure out different ways in which they can leverage the technology to suit their needs.

Jaguar Land Rover confirmed its partnership with IOTA in an email to Reuters on Wednesday. Reuters also reached out to NTT via email, but has not received a response.

“With IOTA Access, we have to focus on getting more to the consumer,” Dominik Schiener, IOTA co-founder, told Reuters in a phone interview late last week. “You want to be able to use your phone to access anything. Our phones should be our personal keys.”

Three other European companies were part of the partnership, Schiener said.

The product will be embedded in Jaguar vehicles, Schiener noted, as the British carmaker has a long-standing partnership with IOTA.

Using Jaguar as an example for this new software, consumers would be able to access the trunk remotely, for instance, to allow a neighbor to put a package in it that had been delivered.

IOTA’s Schiener said STMicroelectronics provided the hardware such as the micro-controllers that enable the smart devices, while NTT helped develop the technology.

Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Paul Simao