Mosquitoes have proven notoriously difficult to eradicate en masse. That'd only be annoying if they didn't also spread the deadly disease malaria, which kills a child roughly every 43 seconds. The problem prompted Intellectual Ventures to craft its mosquito-zapping device from parts purchased on eBay, and it's currently examining the cost-effectiveness of deploying such devices to Africa and other malaria-stricken regions.
Such a eye-catching solution may not pan out, given that there's still no news on cost or even safety -- the actual laser zapping was restricted to the video rather than the live TED demo. But with pharmaceutical companies desperately open-sourcing the cure for malaria and scientists testing whether the insects can transmit a malaria vaccine, we figure any proven lethal method is worth a shot.
@ 0:44 - The dementors take his soul
I wonder how bad it smells.
I so want one.
o.o environmetnally freindly, no more wasting money and heatlh hazards on chemicle options.
can i get one for flies? and small rodents?
I've done that before, the only difference was that I had a magnifying glass its hard to get them to stand still.
It smells like chicken? So now we have to wonder about one of grander scale?
MDS Not Missle Defense Sys but Mosquito Defense Sys. Can't it be overwhelmed by a swarm of mosquitos?? Do we initiate a START initiatve to keep these from being deployed?? Russia can't be happy with this new weapon.
I WANT ONE.
Now Summer Nights can become Long and Peaceful again.
Dude, we are so going to scale this up. Squirrels, neighourhood cats, small dogs that crap on my lawn. Not fry them, but a little butt singe will keep them at bay.
How will this target the little buzzards. The current electrical bug zappers have gotten a bad rap because they supposedly fry too many moths and other desireable bugs. (But the sound of a Junebug getting it is awesome).
Also, I don't think that you could deploy enough of these to make a dent in the bug population of Africa.
I would guess that different insects beat their wings at different frequencies. That could be used to determine what should or should not be zapped. It could be a cool tool for keeping your patio free of insects, but a whole country? That's just nonsense.
the hell's PETA and their stupid morals at now? :3
To clarify a bit, I imagine that Intellectual Ventures would test such devices within the living/sleeping quarters in African communities -- it's probably not meant for hunting down every last living mosquito.
Please put this device out on the market at once, and make it affordable! It will save millions of lives and with the predicted spread of mosquito-bourn diseases as a result of global warming this couldn't come at a better time. I hope that appliance manufacturers can already license this technology and get them out to the consumers ASAP. Will PopSci please run a more extensive and detailed article on this technology? I've made emergency donations of blood on several occasions because kids were on the verge of death from dengue fever (I live in the tropics), so mosquitoes are not just a nuisance for most of the world, but a real killer; more than 100 million people get sick from dengue fever alone; malaria is an even bigger (and deadlier) problem.
@PhillnYork totally agree but wouldn't you end up risking blinding everything in creation?
I would be surprised if any devices containing lasers of this strength will gain the required safety certificates for general/commercial use.
Could this be used against the Taliban?
I'll Buy that for a dollar (:
T'is an Ill wind that blows no minds...
Yes! Yes! YES! Can it do Black Flies? They are a smaller target but OH so deserving. Does it weigh less than 20 pounds yet? This is technology we NEED! How many targets can it handle per second? For Maine Black Flies or Alaskan Mosquitos you are gonna need to be able to obliterate at least 5 targets per second, just to deal with the swarms of annoying tiny biting insects.
And I had thought I was going to need trained bats.
Aww it sucks that you can't 'see' the laser haha... of course yes you can't see it but sci fi and all that I'm expecting this green or red laser beam and some sweet noise effect
Can I mount it on the back of my house and run the program from my X-Box? What a great game.