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How LG’s Latest TV Could Protect You Against Zika

Mosquito-borne Zika virus spreadingMosquito-borne Zika virus spreading
Mosquito repellent will be key at the games.Photograph by Richard Levine — Corbis via Getty Images

Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases could be repelled by the most unlikely of home appliances.

LG has launched a television that it says is capable of repelling mosquitoes. The television, which comes in two models, uses “Mosquito Away Technology,” or ultrasonic waves, that mosquitoes find repulsive and force them to fly away. Better yet, the waves, which are inaudible to humans and in no way affect the television-viewing experience, are still flowing when the television is turned off.

Reuters earlier reported on LG’s feature.

Mosquito-borne illnesses are among the deadliest killers and causes of health issues in the world. Mosquitoes have been known to carry malaria and dengue, and more recently, have caused a Zika epidemic in South and Latin America that is creeping into the United States. Zika causes a wide range of issues, including abnormally small heads and brain damage in infants. There is no known cure, and the U.S. government is growing increasingly concerned that Zika, which can be transmitted between humans after a person has been bitten by a mosquito, could cause birth defects across the country.

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The issue has become an even greater concern as the Olympic Games are set to kick off in August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where Zika has been discovered. Fears abound that athletes and attendees there will get Zika and promptly bring it home, where it could spread between humans.

LG’s TV, therefore, becomes all the more interesting. Televisions, after all, are a place where families often congregate. And to know that the television they’re watching is fending off mosquitoes that might be carrying Zika or other known diseases could provide some peace of mind.

It’s unclear why LG chose a television as a mosquito-repellent, but the Korea-based conglomerate has offered similar technology before in its air conditioners and washing machines. It has cautioned that while its technology can repel mosquitoes, it’s no replacement for dedicated mosquito-deterrent solutions.

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There’s one other problem with the televisions: they’re not coming to the U.S. or many other countries. The televisions are designed for emerging markets, and as of this writing, are only available in India for $394 and $706, depending on the version customers choose. LG told Reuters that it plans to roll them out to the Philippines and Sri Lanka, and focus on markets where mosquitoes might be an especially troublesome problem.

So, while it’s a nice idea, it likely won’t come to the U.S. anytime soon.