Gil Friedlander
Gil Friedlander

May 31, 2012

Ready, Japan? A smartphone that detects nuclear radiation.

It's a gross understatement to say that the Japanese have had a rough year since the tragedy and upheaval caused by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. The continued threat that hovers over Japan, of course, is the condition of the damaged nuclear reactors and what the leaked radiation means for people in the area in the long term.

Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, many Japanese living in fear over their nuclear radiation exposure have invested in personal (and expensive) Geiger counters to be able to measure the radiation around them.

Which leads to Softbank's upcoming release of the Pantone 5 107SH, a smartphone like no other: it's the first phone with a built-in capability to sense nuclear radiation. Users can easily press a dedicated button on the phone and instantly view a measure of nearby radiation, and then track it on a map.

The company decided to develop the phone after the company's CEO - Masayoshi Son - received requests from several of his Twitter followers to include a built-in Geiger counter in mobile handsets. 

Son believes the phone is especially suited for mothers with young children, since children are at the most risk.

On a brighter side, the Pantone 5 comes in eight chipper colors - from Pink to Vivid Pink to Blue. It runs Android 4.0 and features a 3.7 inch screen. 

This is an amazing development in cell phone technology; it's inspiring to see other companies releasing tech to help people monitor their health, especially related to radiation fears.

By the way, there are already apps for this type of nuclear radiation detection. To name a few: 

  • The radiation checker, a free app, developed as a direct result of the Japan earthquake in 2011. 
  • Nuclear Radiation Dosimeter calculates the radiation exposure around you, as well as  the radioactive contamination caused by cigarette smoke, food or traveling on a plane. It's a paid app.
  • Radioactive Map (free) is another Japan-focused app which indicates the radiation level in the air and radiation level of tap water (clean water and sewage). 
  • Radiation Map Tracker is a paid version of the previous app, which covers the United States. It connects to "an extensive network of constantly updating, real time, nuclear radiation detectors, all run by volunteers, not government agencies."

Of course, anyone with the Android-running Pantone 5 can also download the tawkon app to track their exposure to their cell phone's radiation - addressing a totally different radiation concern, yet still another close-to-home risk to take into account.

via TechinAsia

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