Initiative Q Founder Launches Mosquito Tracking Startup
Saar Wilf’s Bzigo develops a device that monitors a room using an infrared camera and marks the mosquito’s exact location with a red laser once it lands
Initiative Q Ltd. founder Saar Wilf has unveiled his new startup, Bzigo Inc., which develops a device that uses lasers to track and mark mosquitos within a room to help disgruntled humans kill them.Bzigo’s product is currently at its prototype stage and is expected to hit the market in about 18 months, following the company’s next funding round, meant to finance the establishment of a manufacturing line. The company currently employs three people.
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Wilf co-founded Bzigo with CEO Nadav Benedek in 2016 and also funded its seed round. The Tel Aviv-based startup’s device monitors a room using an infrared camera and marks the mosquito’s exact location with a red laser once it lands.
Saar Wilf. Photo: Orel Cohen
To address potential privacy issues, the device only monitors the upper areas of the room, avoiding any sensitive areas, Benedek said in a phone interview with Calcalist Sunday. The device does not save any footage, nor does it store footage online, he added. The device’s Wi-Fi capabilities are used to send users mobile alerts through a dedicated app when a mosquito is detected, but can also be shut off to use the device offline.
A mosquito is just one or two pixels in a photo taken from afar, so the device has to monitor movement in real time to identify patterns characteristic of mosquitos and specific wavelengths, Benedek explained.
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Last year, Wilf, a serial entrepreneur and investor, founded controversial digital payment venture Initiative Q, based on a digital coin called Q. To get to a critical mass of users before tackling the full development of the infrastructure, Initiative Q incentivized people to pre-register with name and email in exchange for a diminishing allocation of coins, attracting some 7 million pre-registered users according to Wilf. In March, Initiative Q launched a mobile app.