Radiation Sensing Smartphone Unveiled For Japanese Market

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster over a year ago in Northeastern Japan, where reactor 3 blew up and went into meltdown after an earthquake and resulting tsunami, hasn’t caused any deaths or serious illness, despite the amount of radiation released. The only people at any risk of radiation sickness, are those unfortunate workers who were forced to go in and clean up the mess early on and were exposed to large amounts of radiation. The general public has not been harmed at all. However, anti-nuclear sentiment is running high regardless of the non-existent death toll, as parts of Japan around the reactor are still off limits due to high radiation levels.

Cashing in on this sentiment, is mobile phone operator Softbank, who will soon release a mobile phone with built-in sensors made by Sharp Corp, for detecting radiation levels in microsieverts per hour, which will likely be good for the company’s bottom line. The founder and president of Softbank, Masayoshi Son, an outspoken critic of nuclear power and an advocate of renewable energy sources, said “the threat from the nuclear accident cannot be seen by the human eye and continues to be a concern for many people, especially for mothers with small children”. Yes, that’s it, play up the hysteria with the small children angle. One wonders why Softbank didn’t bring out such a phone much earlier, doesn’t it?

The smartphone in the company’s “Pantone” series will come in eight bright colors and include customized IC chips made by Sharp Corp that measure radiation levels in microsieverts per hour. The phone, which goes on sale this summer, can also keep track of each location a user tests for radiation levels.


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