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Android Japan

Radiation Detecting Android Phone Coming To Japan 133

itwbennett writes "Softbank, Japan's third largest carrier, has teamed up with Sharp to create a radiation detector chip for the latest model in the company's popular, bare-bones Pantone line of smartphones. The chip 'can detect gamma radiation in the air at doses of between 0.05 and 9.99 microsieverts per hour,' according to an IDG News Service report. 'The phone then uses its GPS to place readings on a map. Due to go on sale in July, it runs Android 4.0 and features standard functionality for Japanese handsets, including mobile TV, touch payments and infrared transmission.'"
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Radiation Detecting Android Phone Coming To Japan

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @12:11PM (#40156223)

    "there's no legitimate reason for anyone... to be carrying a radiation detector."

    unless you wanted to receive data from numerous locations in real time detailing the exact dispersal of radiation at ground level.... which i would think to be a very useful information.

    just as japan is swarmed by people carrying camcorders providing the most recorded footage of a tsunami ever known...

    invaluable data i would think.

  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @12:20PM (#40156363) Journal

    I'd love to be scared by the radiation release at this point, as I enjoy a good fright, but how many people have died to date of exposure to the radiation? How many people will die as a result of the exposure? Will it really top the loss of life on the day of the earthquake? Is it worse to be exposed to that much radiation, or the amount of toxic agriculture pestiside and industrial era polution crap I live with every day in the suburbs?

    We are surrounded by risks of many types both within our bodies genome, the enviornment, and behaviors we have. I just can't wrap my head around hyper focusing on one and ignoring all the others.

  • by Alwin Henseler (640539) on Wednesday May 30, 2012 @12:34PM (#40156565) Homepage

    There's no legitimate reason for anyone (who's not a researcher or a nuclear plant employee) to be carrying a radiation detector around with them all the time.

    I call BS. You might as well say "There's no legitimate reason for anyone (who's not a researcher or a nuclear plant employee) to be carrying a detector for NOx levels" or something like that.

    You live in an environment, and you're interested (for whatever reason) to measure 1 aspect of that environment's condition. That's all there is to it, and that's all the 'legitimacy' you need.

    For that purpose the range seems appropriate... I've got a radiation chart here, some figures from lower end of the scale:
    0.1 microSv - airport security scan (backscatter X-ray)
    0.25 microSv - airport security scan maximum permitted
    1.0 microSv - using a CRT monitor for a year
    5.0 microSv - dental X-ray
    7.5 microSv - per day in Tokyo, 250 km SW of Fukushima plant
    40 microSv - Flight from New York to LA
    100 microSv - chest X-ray

    So that sensitivity range seems reasonable - note the "per hour" in there. Not radiation levels that would put you in hospital with 3 weeks to live, but the kind of levels above background that might be a concern longterm. Having a sensor that allows you to measure that throughout the day, wherever you go, sounds more useful than spot checks or relying (solely?) on government-provided figures.

    Whether you should bother, what levels are safe, etc, let people figure that out for themselves. I don't see any harm in adding some datapoints...

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972