Japanese carrier Softbank Corp has announced plans to start selling smartphones that detect radiation. A year after Fukushima, parts of the country are still off-limits and concerns about radiation levels still exist. In response to those concerns, the company developed the Pantone 5 107SH, the first phone to contain such a detector.
Geiger counters are the traditional devices used for measuring radiation, but according to Softbank founder and president, Masayoshi Son the smartphones will be easier to use and carry. The phones will also have the ability to keep track of and display radiation location data through the use of Internet maps. As Mitsuru Obe of the Wall Street Journal points out, however, making the size of the radiation detector small enough to fit inside a smartphone may make it less accurate.
Still, if the devices reach as many people as anticipated, providing the public with some level of radiation detection is better than nothing. Public demand to better monitor radiation amidst growing opposition to nuclear power in the country will likely make the phones, which go on sale in July, a popular product.
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