I just had this update from a firm testing a product called ‘Kite Patch’. (See below)
Their patches emit chemical compounds that essentially make people invisible to the bloodsuckers — they block a mosquito’s ability to sense humans.
Here’s the update – with articles copied in below.
You can donate to the Kite Patch campaign on Indiegogo.
Good afternoon, Kite Patchers!
Here are a few quick notes for Monday.
1. Within 24 hours of now, we hope to break the $500,000 mark. This is thanks to you – entirely. Our small field test is now turning into an amazing testing platform for Kite Patch in Uganda, making KIte Patch a largely-popular platform for fighting malaria.
2. Within 24 hours, we’ll ideally break the 10,000 supporter mark! This is a GIANT DEAL. This is the most important number we have – something that shows the groundswell of support we have for Kite Patch and for combating malaria with a unique, innovative, inexpensive approach.
3. Your support continues to keep us at the #1 MOST POPULAR CAMPAIGN on Indiegogo. We’re also creeping up the chain of “most funded” on Indiegogo – this morning, #16. As we continue on to our stretch goal of $600,000, we will go up further in the rankings. Again – thanks to you.
Now some more detail. What about progress in the lab, the field, and the study?
1. 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.
2. We are advancing plans for the three-district field trial. Frankly, because of the new size of our campaign, we’re expanding various assumptions and the limited options we had. Preparations on the ground with Pilgrim Uganda, the Government of Uganda, and others are being had right nowl.
3. New partners coming in. This week, members of our team are spending time with large technology companies and government agencies to ensure our technology is indeed scalable and workable for large-scale fight against mosquito-borne diseases. We’re in the mix, and we’re definitely a poster-child of how to take an innovation to market for the benefit of humanity.
4. We decided NOT to include international Kite Patch perks in this campaign. Too many popular countries were taking way too long to get back to us.
In case you missed any of the latest media on Kite Patch, here are a few goodies from around the web in the last few days:
Wired Magazine’s Spread on Kite Patch
PC Magazine’s Spread on Kite Patch
NPR’s All Tech Considered
A Patch Designed To Make You Invisible To Mosquitoes
Researchers have come up with an innovative patch to help you win the war against mosquitoes.
In our “Weekly Innovation” blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Previously we’ve featured and . (Do you have an innovation to share? .)
The makers of the Kite Patch plan to test the product in Uganda before getting U.S. approval.
A small, square patch that’s not yet available in the U.S. is promising to work as a force field against pesky mosquitoes. It’s called , and it’s a sticker that emits chemical compounds that essentially make you invisible to the bloodsuckers — they block a mosquito’s ability to sense humans.
If this is as effective as promised, the Kite Patch could be a game changer in preventing mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria and West Nile virus. It’s been developed by a venture capital group called ieCrowd and scientists at Olfactor Laboratories, a research facility in California. :
“According to its developers, users simply have to place the patch onto their clothes, and they become invisible to mosquitoes for up to 48 hours. This is big news for developing countries like Uganda, where residents have little beyond mosquito nets and toxic sprays to combat the illness-spreading insects.”
The scientists behind the patch are to do rapid field testing in parts of the world that are more affected by mosquito-borne illnesses. The campaign has already , but for $10, you can provide a five-pack of Kite patches to a family in Uganda. For $85, you can send a 100-day supply and get some for yourself. The American backers will be the first to receive Kite patches after the company gains regulatory approval.
“It’s a really unique way of doing product development,” ieCrowd’s Grey Frandsen . “This technology is too important to just funnel directly to the Walgreens. It needs to be part and parcel of people’s daily lives all over the world.”
Not everyone finds these disease-spreading irritants so annoying. As our sister blog , mosquitoes have a type: They prefer heavy breathers “with Type O blood, sporting a red shirt and more than a smattering of skin bacteria. Preferably either pregnant or holding a beer.
This Little Sticker Works Like an Anti-Mosquito Force Field
By Liz Stinson
The Kite Patch is a little square sticker that emits a cloak of chemical compounds that block a mosquito’s ability to sense humans. Image: ieCrowd
Mosquitos were born to bite us, and aside from lighting worthless tiki candles, haplessly swatting them away, or resorting to spraying toxic DEET all over ourselves, there’s really not a whole lot we can do about it. Imagine then, if you could be encapsulated in an anti-mosquito bubble simply by wearing a small square sticker. Not only would it save mosquito-magnets like myself some really uncomfortable moments, it could be a major game changer in the way we prevent mosquito-borne illnesses like Malaria, Dengue Fever, and West Nile Virus.
The good news is that a sticker like this is not some far away concept dreamed up by scientists in a lab–it’s actually a real thing that you’ll likely be able to find on the shelves of your local Walgreens sometime in the not-so-distant future.
Essentially, the Kite Patch is a little square sticker that emits a cloak of chemical compounds that blocks a mosquito’s ability to sense humans. According to its developers, users simply have to place the patch onto their clothes, and they become invisible to mosquitoes for up to 48 hours. This is big news for developing countries like Uganda, where residents have little beyond mosquito nets and toxic sprays to combat the illness-spreading insects.
That’s exactly where Kite’s creators, a collaborative team made up of innovation venture capital group ieCrowd and Olfactor Laboratories, intend to ship these off to as soon as they’re done blowing past their second goal on global crowdsourcing site Indiegogo. Launched just last month, the campaign surpassed its original goal of $75,000 in just four days and is now gunning for a new goal of $385,000 (currently at $336,000).
Though the Kite seems a little fantastical, it’s backed by some legitimate technology. Back in 2011, Dr. Anandasankar Ray, an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside (and founder of Olfactor Labs), found that certain chemical compounds can inhibit the carbon dioxide receptors in mosquitoes. These smelly compounds, which act like a anti-mosquito force field, are able to disorient the bugs, whose main method of tracking down humans is through our exhalation of CO2.
The findings were considered a breakthrough moment in the field, but the technology was far from ready to be applied to a consumer product mostly because the compounds were toxic and wouldn’t be able to pass through FDA and EPA approval. “It wasn’t ready to be placed into a product that could mean something globally,” explains Grey Frandsen, Vice President at ieCrowd. That’s where his company came in.
ieCrowd basically functions as the belt of an innovation assembly line, guiding an idea through the necessary steps so it can become a widely distributed, (hopefully) world-changing product. It begins with acquiring the intellectual property, like they did with Dr. Ray’s research. From there they provide all of the business infrastructure, marketing, and general support so subsidiary companies can focus exclusively on developing new technology. In the case of the Kite Patch, ieCrowd worked with a group of scientists at Olfactor Laboratories, a research facility in Riverside, Calif. that developed a new targeted library of chemical compounds based on Dr. Ray’s original research.
Olfactor’s non-toxic compounds work against mosquitoes’ long-range abilities to detect humans through CO2, as well as dampening the insect’s short-range ability to sense us from our basic human odors. These chemicals, which give off a “faint pleasant smell,” will be applied to a small sticker, which Frandsen notes is the cheapest, easiest, and most adaptable way to design a spatial insect repellant. The patches will then be shipped off to Uganda for field testing, which should begin before the end of the year. “Really, what we’re doing is creating a rapid scientific development process, a rapid prototyping process and then a very aggressive go to market strategy,” Frandsen says of ieCrowd’s method.
The Kite Patch needed to be affordable, adaptable and easy to use, which is why it was designed as a square sticker. Image: ieCrowd
The product has had a little help along the way, namely from the National Institutes of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. “The big names behind us have helped us advance the science,” Frandsen says. “But those grants do not cover product development.” All of the money raised from the Indiegogo campaign will be funneled into extensive field testing. Originally, the testing was going to provide 20,000 patches (around 1 million hours of coverage) to one district in Uganda. The extra money raised will double the number of Kite Patches shipped and expand the coverage to four million hours in three political districts in the country.
The idea is to refine the Kite as much as possible during the field testing and hone in on three main goals, the first being to analyze the adaptability of the patch. So, is it easy to apply and wear? Does it work well both at morning and at night? Does it fall off people’s clothing at after a certain point? The second is to test the effectiveness of the technology in harsh conditions found in places like Sub-Saharan Africa. Scientists have yet to determine exactly how far the sticker’s spatial radius extends and will be looking to see how it reacts to wind and extreme weather. Lastly, the field testing will evaluate how the sticker interacts with and can supplement current malaria prevention technology like bed nets.
“We’re looking at: What are any shortfalls specifically relating to the design that we can solve for that don’t come from testing it with 100 people in the Canadian Rockies or in Florida?” Frandsen says. “So there’s this real life, real world use and evaluation of that.” The Kite has reportedly performed well inside the highly-controlled confines of a lab, but Frandsen says the most vital evaluation will come from the Kite Patch’s time in Africa. “It’s a really unique way of doing product development,” he says of the extensive field testing. “It’s a lot easier to deal in private-equity markets or investments and just finish it.” But, he continues, “This technology is too important to just funnel directly to the Walgreens. It needs to be part and parcel of people’s daily lives all over the world.”