Microsoft may not have any superpowers, but it’s sure got the drive (and some cool tech) to save the world from a spreading epidemic. Although humans are catching the Zika virus all over the world, we still don’t have a proper defence system against it. We can wear long sleeves, pants, bug spray and try our best to not get bitten by mosquitoes, but at the end of the day, all that’s stopping us from catching Zika is chance. It’s lucky for us that Microsoft’s about to change that.
Microsoft’s teaming up with Harris County, Texas in ‘Project Premonition’ to detect mosquitos that carry deadly pathogens before they begin to spread to humans. Since Texas has quite a few cases of humans catching the Zika virus, it’s the perfect place to start hunting for Zika and other new viruses.
In Project Premonition, high-tech, self-learning mosquito traps that can actually sense the vibration of a mosquito’s wing movement will capture and study mosquitos on its own. (We seriously wish we had one of those for our own backyards.) Drones will then scan large areas to find mosquito hotspots and, eventually, even place the mosquito traps without human help. This process of trapping and studying will teach us more about any virus a mosquito carries when it’s caught by the machine.
By identifying infectious diseases before they become a global epidemic, we won’t be as vulnerable to viruses caused by mosquitos. And the more we know about Zika-infected mosquitos, especially where the virus comes from, the easier it will be to create a cure.
Check out the video above for more information about Project Premonition.