Victor aims to use IoT to build a better mousetrap

Victor will provide mobile app access to its new connected traps, with plans for a dashboard and pest analytics in the future.

Video: Victor made internet-connected mousetraps -- because why not?

Victor is aiming to use the Internet of Things to build a better, connected mousetrap.

The company behind Victor mousetraps, Woodstream, is planning to launch connected mousetraps in the third quarter in the latest sign that every business is going digital.

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Victor's mousetraps have already evolved a good bit. Now IoT will bring the next evolution of pest control. Credit: Victor

Using Low-Power Wide Area Network and Comcast's MachineQ Internet of Things platform, Victor's electronic mousetraps will be connected to a platform designed to monitor pest populations. Victor has had Wi-Fi connected mousetraps, but Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology has solved for battery life and range.

"The real value is having the traps connected. Two mice can turn into 20 mice in a couple of months. Businesses are looking for an early warning system without going into ceilings and facilities and checking traps, said Tom Daly, senior director of strategic technology at Woodstream Corporation. "With LPWAN technology you can take action immediately."

Daly added that pilots are underway to network thousands of mousetraps together. Woodstream, based in Lancaster, Pa., chose Comcast's MachineQ platform to scale their connected mousetraps.

Victor had seen the value in connected mousetraps a decade ago, but battery life and range were an issue. Now, LPWAN technology as well as the LoRaWAN standard via machineQ solves those issues, said Daly.

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In addition, Victor will provide mobile app access to the connected traps, with plans for a dashboard and pest analytics in the future.

The return on investment on IoT pest traps is a mix hard and soft metrics. The primary return on investment of digital mousetraps is savings on labor. Why? Technicians don't have to physically inspect mousetraps in hard to reach areas.

Daly noted that there's a lot of labor involved with inspecting distribution centers and other large areas for rodents.

But in the age of social media, Daly said there's an insurance-like benefit to having Internet of Things-connected mousetraps.

Another benefit: By controlling pests, it's insurance against a viral pest video that can kill a brand or location like a restaurant.

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"The more soft value is in brand protection and getting an extra level of control over pests before populations take route," Daly said. "You need to act before a brand's location is in the news and going viral because a rat fell out of the ceiling."

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