Sony wants to digitize education records using the blockchain

Sony said today that it has finished developing a digital system for storing and managing educational records on the blockchain. The Japanese firm is now looking to commercialize the product, in partnership with selected educational institutions, next year.

The idea — which was first announced 18 months ago — is to make use of the blockchain as a centralized ledger for storing educational information, such as degrees, diplomas, tests and more, as a kind of ‘digital transcript.’ Sony said the system has been developed to prevent fraud, while providing access to third-parties for job interviews and assessment among other purposes.

The idea is to improve on current practice of storing candidate education histories within individual schools and institutions themselves, which requires records to be shared over email or by a physical copy. It believes that there’s a modern alternative. Sony’s blockchain-based system instead allows data from various institutions to mix together, making it more convenient and easier to share or track a person’s ‘live’ resume.

For example, securing partnerships with universities and high schools would mean candidates school and graduation records are baked into their profile and accessible to third parties, such as when applying for jobs or further education. Then there is the potential to add bespoke testing and other information.

Beyond making it easier to share information, Sony said also that the stored data sets could potentially be analyzed using AI to provide feedback and improvement ideas for educational institutions and their curriculums and management.

That’s the theory for now, and it of course requires execution to get the product to market and deliver on its potential. To that end, Sony said it is aiming to partner with educational institutions and “tailor the service to their needs.” The goal is a live launch sometime next year, but it will trial the new system for its Global Math Challenge, a worldwide competition that takes place later this year.

The system is managed by Sony Global Education, and is built on top of IBM Blockchain using IBM’s Cloud and The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 framework.

What’s particularly notable about the project is that Sony believes it can be expanded into other areas of digital asset management, including IoT, logistics, digital content, real estate and (more obviously) cryptocurrencies.