With the recent societal anxiety over the Zika virus outbreak, most people all over the world, especially in Southeast Asia, started clamoring for ways to keep their houses mosquito free. Unsurprisingly, it is Japan that came up with a solution.
Sharp Corporation, a Japanese multinational corporation that designs and manufactures electronic products, came up with what they call Katori Kusei, an air purifier that not only filters out air pollutants but also traps mosquitoes.
Originally, Katori Kusei was born because Sharp Corporation’s affiliated companies in Southeast Asia were being pestered by the blood-sucking insects and they asked Sharp to develop something that could help with it. As such, the mosquito-trapping air purifier was first launched in Southeast Asia but later on was brought to Japan. It was also an attempt to boost customer interest after the decline of air purifier sales once the hay fever season of early spring was over and pollen count in Japan wasn’t as high.
With the retail price of 50,000 yen, Katori Kusei sold exceptionally well. In fact, the advance orders for the product were 10 times more than the usual demand. That’s a whopping 2,300 units worth of orders even before Katori Kusei’s official release! It’s certainly a far cry from the usual 200 advance orders for Sharp’s conventional air purifiers.
Although Sharp refrained from putting out TV commercials due to budget constraints, curiosity about Katori Kusei was kept at a high level because of the rounds it did on social media. Also, in-house Katori Kusei display emphasized the mosquito-trapping function of the purifier by using eye-catching texts and images which you can’t help but stare at.
The good thing about the Katori Kusei is that unlike mosquito repellents out in the market, the air purifier is completely chemical free. If you’re wondering how that works, I’ll be showing you a few pictures that will illustrate how Katori Kusei protects your home from mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes have a habit of hiding in the shadows. Knowing this, Sharp fitted their device with ultraviolet light to lure mosquitoes to enter the small holes in the outer layer of the purifier.
Once they fly near the holes, there is no escaping the air currents that will carry them further into the device, much like the purification process for pollen and dust.
Inside the device, an adhesive sheet is waiting for the mosquitoes to get stuck to – leaving your home mosquito free.
Sharp received some raised eyebrows from competitors because it seemed like Sharp was exploiting the people’s fear over the Zika virus to be able to gain profit. However, the way I see it is that the world is long overdue for a safe, chemical-free device that will protect us from all the diseases insects like mosquitoes bring. If Sharp’s response to the alarming rate of patients affected by Zika virus is to produce that kind of device, then I feel like that’s perfectly acceptable. Besides, there are far worse things in life than gaining profit over a frankly genius idea.