Design of an embedded system and cloud backend for remote monitoring of smart traps
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The convergence of low cost cloud services, widespread Internet deployment and low cost SOCs gives rise to systems placing the Internet’s vast compute power at the service of simple, everyday devices. Assisted by ubiquitous Wi-Fi deployment and smartphone ownership, a default infrastructure is emerging that supports rapid development of easy to use, low cost, Internet enabled devices. This nascent extension of the Internet into common, everyday devices has been termed the Internet of Things (IoT) and is attracting considerable commercial and academic interest. This paper evaluates the selection and application of IoT technologies to the operations of an existing industry that would benefit from a low cost, remote monitoring system by reducing the cost of delivering their services to their customers. The US pest control industry was selected for analysis as it has a healthy, growing revenue base ($7B in 2013) with a service delivery model that requires expensive manual monitoring (~$45 per inspection) of deployed traps and cages. A prototype system was built entailing a Wi-Fi connected smart rat trap, a cloud based monitoring system and a smartphone app for associating the trap with a Wi-Fi access point.