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Photonic Fence 2014
Global Good’s photonic fence (photo: Intellectual Ventures)

An advanced “photonic fence” for zapping mosquitoes and other pests with light is one step closer to market. Intellectual Venture’s Global Good and Florida-based Lighting Science have signed an agreement to collaborate on field-ready prototypes.

Intellectual-VenturesLightning Science also plans to use the joint effort to launch a new company focused on pest control products for the health, commercial and residential markets.

The photonic fence technology uses low-cost sensors, lasers and control software to identify, track and kill insects. Originally invented by Bellevue-based Intellectual Ventures to help fight mosquito-borne malaria in developing countries, it also has potential for more general applications in agriculture.

“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,” said Maurizio Vecchione, senior vice president for Global Good and research at Intellectual Ventures, in announcing the research agreement.

The agreement licenses the Global Good photonic fence tech to Lighting Science Group Corp, which has an existing focus on LED lamps and lighting fixtures, and first designed lighting for NASA to help astronauts sleep better. Global Good itself is a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates with a focus on developing countries.

And if you’re wondering … this is how the fence zaps bugs.

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