When it comes to defending yourself against one of life's greatest nuisances, mosquitos, you're pretty much limited to a few unappealing options. You can just stay inside - that usually helps. But what's the fun in that? You can light citronella candles and torches - but does anyone really think that works? Of course, you can spray yourself with deet - that works pretty well, but yeah, I'd prefer not to do that all the time.
A new project claim to be a breakthrough in mosquito protection - one that could change the way the world fights malaria.
It's called Kite, and it's a patch that its creators claim can make you virtually invisible to mosquitos for a prolonged period of time.
Here's how the Kite patch works:
Kite Mosquito Patch is the world’s first product containing our breakthrough scientific discovery of non-toxic compounds scientifically proven to disrupt the mosquito’s carbon dioxide neurons. Kite’s compounds act as a non-topical, spatial repellent, blocking mosquitoes’ ability to detect carbon dioxide – their primary method of tracking human blood meals. Kite is designed to last at least 48 hours.
Basically, you can stick in on your shirt and expect to be invisible to mosquitos for up to two days. That's just incredible.
The Kite patch is currently a little over halfway through a campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Originally, it set out to raise $75,000 to send 20,000 patches to Uganda - but in just a month the project has raised so much money that its creators have had to set new goals.
As of today, the Kite patch campaign has raised over $480,000 in pledges. With that kind of money, Kite says that they can expand their field test and provide nearly 100,000 patches in its first production (the product is still just in its prototype stage). They've just launched a new goal - $600,000.
Kite is looking to partner with various agencies to make their large-scale test a reality.
"Our team has been working with or meeting a range of organizations, including Malaria No More, Rollback Malaria, the Malaria Consortium, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, USDA, the U.S. military - all in an effort to incorporate their expertise in large-scale field tests and expertise in vector and disease control. Many will be helping us guide the study and/or expand our options for data collection," says Grey Frandsen.
Of course, the main goal here is to battle the spread of disease with these convenient little patches. But this kind of tech would no doubt see massive interest from your average, everyday outdoor enthusiast. Hell, I host enough cookouts to justify a significant investment in a set of patches myself.