Wearable patch claims to keep mosquitoes away for 48 hours
Kite Patch, a new wearable patch claims to make you "invisible" to mosquitoes for 48 hours, is shown in this Vimeo screengrab. (Screengrab/Kite Patch)
Published Wednesday, July 24, 2013 11:16AM EDT
Just in time for mosquito season, a new wearable patch claims to make you "invisible" to mosquitoes for 48 hours -- all while helping to battle malaria in the developing world.
The Kite Patch -- backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S.-based National Institutes of Health -- launched an Indiegogo campaign this week with the goal of raising $75,000, which it raised in just four days.
As of July 23, the company had raised more than $150,000, with 38 days of the campaign remaining.
The patch works by blocking mosquitoes' ability to detect carbon dioxide in our breath, which is the bugs' primary way of finding you.
Best part, it's nontoxic: the company says the active ingredient is considered safe by the US Food and Drug Administration and can be used by young children and pregnant women -- populations most affected by malaria in many countries.
"It will provide a new level of protection for children in Uganda, for young families in South Africa, and hikers in Seattle or Wyoming or Florida seeking a safer, socially-responsible solution," Grey Frandsen, chief marketing officer at ieCrowd, the company behind the patch, said in a statement.
"We built Kite to be simple and affordable -- a small colorful sticker that will appeal to children and adults and survive the rigors of extreme climates, play time, or outdoor recreation."
Meanwhile, Australian researchers announced earlier this month that they were closing in on a potential vaccine against malaria, with a study showing their treatment had protected mice against several strains of the disease.
Details on how much the patch will cost consumers and when it will be ready for mass distribution are not set yet, only that it will vary from market to market, tech blog Gigaom reports.