A group of teenage girls from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya have won the first ever Technovation Challenge award by creating a mobile application which repels mosquitoes by emitting a 15KHz ultrasonic sound.
The app, called Quit Mosquito works by playing an ultrasonic sound which is almost inaudible to human ears but loud enough to de-stabilize the blood-sucking pests.
The group who created the app consisted of three girls. When Caroline Kimathi, one of the girls was asked about her experience and what the event meant for her, she said:
“The whole experience was awesome, we learnt a lot and it also took us hardwork and team work to succeed. The challenge also gave us an opportunity to meet with people who will help mentor us. We also plan to take this app to the other level where people may be able to download it in the app stores.”
Aside Quit Mosquito which landed first position, there were five other apps which made it to the finals. In second place and runner-up was the Donor App which lists out blood-donation centres around the vicinity, the app apparently encourages people to donate blood. In third place was the Kinywaji, an app which apparently let’s you manage the amount of alcohol ingested. I’m not sure how this one works given that mobile phones do not have the breathalyser functionality integrated into them, but on the plus side – the app let’s you call a cab effortlessly when you feel you have crossed the boundaries of soberville.
Yes, I am aware that this is not new technology as there are several mosquito repellent apps lying around the internet which does exactly what this app does; but you see, this is different because:
- The creators of the app are teenage girls from Africa (emphasis on Africa). Malaria is very much widespread in Africa, and truth be told, many mobile phone users in Africa are not aware about the availability of this kind of app. Letting these girls win this challenge will introduce this technology to many Kenyan indigenes and help them control mosquitoes more effectively.
- The creators of the app are kids. Celebrating these young ones who have taken the pain to create something that works will motivate them and other African children likewise to be productive and make an effort towards the development of the continent, which is something this blog is interested in.