Japans Softbank to sell radiation detecting smartphones

Japanese mobile phone operator Softbank has revealed a plan to sell smartphones with built-in radiation detectors, following concerns about continuing radioactive fallout from the Fukushima  nuclear disaster early last year.

Japanese mobile phone operator Softbank has revealed a plan to sell smartphones with built-in radiation detectors, following concerns about continuing radioactive fallout from the Fukushima  nuclear disaster early last year.

 
The company will release the new phone as part of its Pantone series, with eight bright colours to choose from. The device will come with customised integrated circuit chips made by Sharp that measure radiation levels in the area.
 
Masayoshi Son, founder and president of Softbank, said that the threat from the nuclear accident cannot be seen by the human eye, but it remains a big worry for people in Japan, especially those with children. Son has been a strong critic of nuclear facilities since the incident last year, pushing for this useful device to be made quickly available.
 
800px Fukushima I by Digital Globe Japans Softbank to sell radiation detecting smartphones
 
The device will be more portable and user-friendly than traditional Geiger counters and will store records of previously tested locations and their radiation levels, providing a good indication of any changes in hazardous material left in the atmosphere.
 
Japan was devastated by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, which severely damaged the nuclear reactors at Fukushima, causing meltdown and considerable radiation leaks. The radiation is estimated to be 10 percent of that released during the Chernobyl disaster and some areas of Japan are still off-limits due to high radiation levels. Since the disaster public sentiment against nuclear facilities has been largely, and understandably, negative, with many calling for an end to the country's numerous nuclear facilities.
 
The phone will go on sale in Summer for an unspecified price. However, Son has promised that it will be affordable.
 
Source: Reuters
Image Credit: Digital Globe