In the age where we tend to run our entire lives through our devices, it only makes sense that we would also try to use them in every way possible to protect ourselves. The Guardian has published a fascinating article about an already existing application for detecting when mosquitoes are nearby.
Downloadable on an inexpensive phone, this app can detect the sound created by mosquitoes wings and their “buzz.” When taking in the sounds in its surroundings, it sets off an alarm or warning when the sound of the buzz becomes present. Now, what if this warning system could tell what kind of mosquito was present? Yunpeng Li, of the machine learning department at Oxford University, explains to the Guardian that “If we can identify the species, we can tell people in areas where there is malaria that these mosquitoes are around and that they need to take care, to use bed nets and so on.”
How It Works
The initial warning system was created by the recording of mosquitoes in a lab, taking sounds from other outside locations, transferring these sounds into frequencies, and then creating an algorithm so that the system could detect when mosquitoes were present. However, 50 different types of mosquitoes carry malaria. Each type differs in wing size and shape which therefore changes the actual frequency of the sound it creates. With continued hours of recording, Li hopes to fine tune this application by adding algorithms that will be able to specify what species of mosquitoes are present. Not only could this be a warning of the presence of mosquitoes that carry malaria but also a tool to create real-time maps of the patterns of mosquitoes.
After a great decline in cases of malaria in 2010, 2016 records have it back on the rise with a death toll of 445,000. At Mosquito Squad of Chelmsford & Cambridge, we continue to partner with Malaria No More in the fight to eradicate this terrible disease. All efforts in research to come closer to this are important to us, and we are happy to pass this information on to our clients. Knowledge is a powerful tool in protection from a disease at home and abroad. Call us today if you have any questions at (978) 381-4028!