Today much of our critical infrastructure from the aviation, energy, logistics, and communication networks rely on accurate position, navigation and timing (PNT). Currently, the primary source of distributed and accurate timing information at least in the West is through the Global Positioning System (GPS). However, GPS’s space-based signals are low-power and unencrypted, making them susceptible to both intentional and unintentional disruption. As the deployment of mobile sensors grows and the physical world is overlaid with digital information with augmented reality, we expect to see accurate PNT to become ever more critical. Collecting Pokemon in the park needs rough location data, but what about when collecting unlocks a smart contract and tokens are generated? We believe there is an opportunity to deliver PNT in a ground-up, crowdsourced, and censorship-resistant way.
FOAM is providing the tools to enable a crowdsourced map and decentralized location services. As with any data that comes from the real-world, an incentive system is required to encourage data to be submitted and for people to be incentivized to prove that the data is accurate. This is the fundamental problem to solve for all oracles in the cryptos space, and FOAM has designed a system that is designed specifically to validate location data using a novel proof-of-location consensus mechanism. The hope is that if FOAM can generate a trusted map of the world, a whole new breed of location-based permissionless applications can be built quickly and cheaply. We expect something like FOAM to be foundational to an open augmented reality environment and an important component of utilising location data for the Stack.