Synergy has long been an overused word in the business lexicon, but on occasion the fit between two companies or projects is so smooth that there’s no other word for it.

Such is the case with the newly announced partnership between PlanetWatch, a firm that uses cryptocurrency rewards to deploy Internet of Things-connected (IoT) air sensor networks in cities, and EMRIT, a firm that uses cryptocurrency rewards to deploy IoT connectivity networks in cities.

Under the terms of the agreement, EMRIT is going to fund the deployment of thousands of PlanetWatch-compliant air quality monitors which will be hosted together with EMRIT IoT hotspots. PlanetWatch gets a huge bump to the number of sensors deployed, providing more and better data for its clients, without having to find people willing to spring for an air sensor in exchange for PLANET token rewards.

EMRIT expands its IoT wireless network grid by allying with an environmental cause célèbre — clean air — instead of the straight business decision of trading minimal electrical power (about a 5W bulb’s worth) for Helium Network Token (HNT) earnings.

Noting that it is a partnership “between two highly disruptive and forward-looking companies which both leverage advanced technologies and the engagement of local communities,” Claudio Parrinello, the CEO of PlanetWatch, said “we are enabling Smart City as a Service solutions and implementing a circular economy where citizens make their city smart and reap immediate benefits from their commitment.”

Air of efficiency

Built on the very energy-efficient Algorand blockchain, and using technology spun off from CERN, PlanetWatch uses AI-based data analysis and advanced data management systems to “deploy dense, real-time sensor networks and deliver hyperlocal, street-level, business-grade environmental data quickly and cost effectively,” it said.

Saving its data on an immutable blockchain is a no-brainer for a company like PlanetWatch, which is measuring air pollution — something more than a few companies and governments would prefer not be so easily accessible.

More insights from PlanetWatch here

PlanetWatch’s PLANETS utility token is an Algorand Standard Asset (ASA) token with a pre-minted maximum supply of 4.5 billion. Some 5% went to the company, the rest are in the awards pool.

The project uses four types of sensors: Type 1 is a premium outdoor device allocated 40% of the daily token rewards; Type 2 is a consumer outdoor device allocated 20% of the rewards; Type 3 is an indoor device with 20% of the rewards; and Type 4 is a wearable taking the last 20% of the rewards. That said, the details of the token distribution model are fairly involved. The sensor owners split the rewards mined with PlanetWatch 80/20.

PlanetWatch air quality data is purchased using Earth Credits, which are in turn bought with PLANETS tokens. PLANETS is listed on the Bitfinex exchange.

Helium rewards on IoT

EMRIT is building on Helium, a peer-to-peer, low-power, long-range IoT network connecting billions of gadgets.

It provides CoolSpot IoT devices which mine HNT tokens to people who live in suitable locations, offering them rewards in the form of HNT tokens earned when the devices are used.

"We at Emrit are proud to partner with PlanetWatch and expand our IoT Blockchain footprint and create exciting earning opportunities for the community,” said Jiten Varu, CEO of EMRIT. “Not only can you monitor the quality of the air in your environment, but you also earn rewards as well! This is a win-win for any owner of a PlanetWatch sensor."

More insights from PlanetWatch

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