Softbank Phone To Detect Radiation Levels
A new Japanese mobile phone is slated for release this summer by Softbank Corp. that will come equipped with a chip for detecting radiation levels amidst the concerns raised by the Fukushima reactor accident.
Softbank founder and president, Masayoshi Son 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."
Many parts of northeastern Japan are still contaminated and some areas are still off-limits.
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The phone will come equipped with an IC chip made by Sharp Corp. that measures radiation in micro Sieverts per hour. Two Sieverts per hour can be a lethal dose which can kill within 30 days.
The phone will also allow the user to store the levels of radiation recorded at different locations so that in time, the user can create his or her own map of the radiation levels.
Son also told reporters that his smartphone was to be more user-friendly and portable than traditional Geiger counters, and more integratable into their daily lives. Carrying a phone around would also lessen the feeling of dread that carrying around a Geiger counter must bring about.
The Fukushima reactor accident was the result of a huge earthquake that caused a giant tidal wave to hit the eastern coast of Japan. As a result of the damage not only from the earthquake, but also from the resulting contamination, many people have been forced to leave their homes of many generations.
The displacement and lack of oversight by the Japanese government in the matter has led to much anti-nuclear sentiment. Advocacy groups in Tokyo are calling for nuclear reform, and other countries are drastically scaling down nuclear power ambitions with Germany ending their nuclear power program.
Softbank Corp. is Japan's third leading mobile phone operator, and plans to release this "Pantone" model in eight bright colors.