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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kite patch makes people invisible to mosquitoes


Mosquitoes are the bane of our existence. No doubt about it. If there was one species that could be selectively wiped out by an asteroid shower, it should be them. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen anytime soon, but what has happened is a convenient new device that seems to combat this problem in an unusual way...

The device in question, Kite Patch, is a simple square which you have to stick on your clothing. This square essentially works like an invisibility cloak against mosquitoes, turning the user invisible to the pests for up to 48 hours...
Kite cover
The Kite Patch may be the answer every mosquito hater in the world has been waiting for (Image credit: indiegogo)


The patch makes use of non-toxic compounds that disrupt the mosquito’s ability to locate its prey by blocking the pest's ability to detect carbon dioxide, which is their primary method of tracking human blood, according to the device’s fundraising campaign on Indiegogo.

The technology was developed by Olfactor laboratories and the University of California at Riverside, with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the National Institutes of Health.

So far, the $75,000 campaign is figuring out how to send 20,000 Kite patches to Uganda for large scale testing. The rate of malaria cases seen in that country crosses 60 percent, so there are bound to be lots of willing applicants for the test run.

The Kite patch renders the user invisible to mosquitoes. (Image credit: indiegogo)
The Kite patch renders the user invisible to mosquitoes. (Image credit: indiegogo)


Breaking down the numbers, it was found that around 660,000 people died due to Malaria in 2010, according to the World Health Organisation. Most of the reported deaths occurred in Africa. According to Kite co-founder Torrey Tayenaka, a child dies of the disease every minute of every day. The Kite patch, if it works as promised, is sure to do a lot of good globally, and defintely put a dent in the huge number of deaths caused by Malaria.

Backers who shell out $35 (Rs 2,076 approx) can send 10 patches to Uganda and get 10 for themselves. According to the company, the patch has been designed to be durable, affordable across the world, and can be stuck anywhere, including bags or a baby stroller.     

While all the other options in the market center around mosquito repellant coils, spray or even creams, the simple patch seems like a convenient solution to a never ending problem. And until the selective asteroid strike happens, this seems to be the best shot you have of avoiding the blood sucking pests.

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