L.L. Bean says it will start sewing in sensors inside its products to track how customers use the items in a pilot test, according to the Wall Street Journal. This information would be fed into a blockchain and then anonymized for later use.
The company will start testing a “line of coats and boots with sewn-in sensors that send data to the public Ethereum blockchain platform” via an app, according to the report. The hope is that customers will share data about how and when they use the merchandise in exchange for potential discounts.
The data collected may include temperature, wear frequency and number of washes. It could also show whether customers use the products as intended. Insights could be used for product development, marketing and supplier negotiations.
Chad Leeder, innovation specialist at L.L. Bean, told the Journal, “Digital, quantifiable data about how customers are actually using a product—we’ve never had that data before.”