According to a new research from Stanford University, some students from university’s Bio-X institute came up with an idea for their project called “Shazam for Mosquitoes”. The tool is named after the popular phone app that identifies music.
The project showed that cellphones can tell which mosquito is around you by recording mosquito wing beats accurately enough to distinguish different types of mosquitoes, like the Culex mosquitoes, which spread West Nile virus, from Aedes mosquitoes, which spread Zika.
The interesting part about the research is, a Smartphone isn’t the only mobile phone to use the tool because even older flip phones, which are still used in parts of Africa, are sensitive enough to do the job.
The students plan on crowd-sourcing in which phone users around the world send in sound samples of mosquitoes landing on them, which could be sorted by the embedded GPS and time coordinates to build a worldwide mosquito distribution map rather than trapping insects for hand sorting.
For now, there’s no word on when this tool will be made available to the public.