Japanese smartphone manufacturer builds phone with radiation detector following last year’s Fukushima plant meltdown
By Eddie Wrenn
PUBLISHED: 17:45, 29 May 2012 | UPDATED: 17:45, 29 May 2012
A mobile phone company is planning to sell smartphones with radiation detectors.
Softbank, tapping into concerns that hotspots still remain along Japan’s eastern coast a year after the Fukushima nuclear crisis, said today it will soon begin selling smartphones with radiation detectors.
Parts of northeastern Japan are still off-limits due to high radiation levels after the Fukushima nuclear plant was devastated by a huge earthquuake and tsunami, triggering meltdowns and sending radiation out into the area.
Anti-nuclear sentiment is high, with advocacy groups in Tokyo and other cities calling for radiation monitoring at schools and other public facilities.
Softbank founder and president, Masayoshi Son, standing in front of an aerial photo of the crippled plant, 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.’
The smartphone is in the company’s ‘Pantone’ series and will come in eight bright colours.
It will include customised radiation chips, made by Sharp, 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.
Son, who emerged as an outspoken critic of nuclear power and advocate of renewable energy sources after last year’s quake, told vendors and reporters that the smartphone was more portable and user-friendly than conventional Geiger counters.
Softbank, Japan’s No. 3 mobile phone operator, has not set a price on the new smartphone yet, but Son told reporters after the event that it would be in an affordable price range.