Smart device tracks down, captures bed bugs, then sends you photo evidence

Why it matters to you

Bed bugs are a health risk. The Automated Insect Monitoring System is the gadget that will do something about them.

From smart thermostats that intelligently control the temperature in a room to smart devices like the Roomba vacuum cleaner which hoover up dirt, connected devices are capable of carrying out all sorts of functions in the places we sleep. Here’s one we’ve not come across before, though: A Wi-Fi enabled system smart device that’s designed to alert you of any bed bug outbreaks in the making.

Developed by the company Delta Five, the currently available Automated Insect Monitoring System takes the form of a small, 3-inch box, which monitors for insects around the clock. The device uses heat, vapors, pheromones and other odorless methods to attract insects. It then captures them by closing its chamber door, takes a picture of the bug to identify it, and sends an alert to the relevant person, either via text message or email.

“Given our initial focus on hospitality, and our core competencies in robotics, unattended sensors, computer vision and machine intelligence, we recognized a significant gap between available products and actual need as it relates to bed bugs,” Jason Janét, Delta Five’s CEO, told Digital Trends.

“None offered high-fidelity, round-the-clock monitoring with real-time notification. Most were pest-specific, bulky and generally ineffective. All of them were labor intensive and relied on potentially subjective human elements of interpretation, prioritization and communication. The value-proposition simply was not there.”

Bed bugs, it turns out, are an uncomfortably common occurrence — particularly in hotels. According to Janét, the problem is worsening at a rate of between 7 and 15 percent annually. Worryingly, this could be related to bed bugs evolving to become immune to pesticides, along with more “hitchhiking opportunities” due to international shipping and travel.

Most disgusting of all, around 96 percent of bed bugs are found in the headboard wall. Dealing with these means that many headboards can become saturated with various pesticides: inches from people’s heads and therefore their lungs, ears, and eyes.

Something tells us we’re going to sleep badly tonight! Thank goodness for smart technology …