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Light-Based Technology Aids Insect Control

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Insects wreak havoc on communities with their spread of viruses and airborne diseases. They damage and even kill crops. And let’s face it: They’re just plain annoying.

There has been some relief in a “photonic fence” device, created several years ago by Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, of Bellevue, Wash., as a way of addressing the spread of malaria (courtesy of mosquitoes, in particular) in developing countries. Combining sensors and laser technology, the device can identify, track and ultimately eliminate insects. It potentially could be used by global health organizations in both developing and developed countries to combat vector-borne diseases, and in applications for agricultural use.

Light-Based Technology Aids Insect ControlAnd now, Intellectual Ventures’ Global Good division is joining forces with the Lighting Science Group Corp., based in Melbourne, Fla., to take this technology further.

The collaboration will fuel the development of next-generation light technologies for pest control products for health, residential and commercial use, and will focus on “field-ready prototypes that offer an environmentally responsible alternative to chemical pesticides,” according to researchers at Lighting Science.

With the partnership, Global Good will license its photonic fence technology to Lighting Science, which will manage product development.

“What began by putting the world’s deadliest animal, the mosquito, in our sights with a laser has opened up new advances in the way we can use light to protect communities and crops from a range of disease-bearing insects,” said Maurizio Vecchione, senior vice president for Global Good and research at Intellectual Ventures. “For example, the export potential of high-value crops could increase dramatically if a light-based perimeter was available to both monitor and eliminate pests, instead of possibly unsafe or ineffective insecticides.”

Photonics Spectra
Apr 2015

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