Major Japanese phone carrier Softbank is releasing a smartphone, the Pantone 5 107SH, this summer with a built-in radiation detector. Softbank announced the phone on Tuesday at a launch event for new products. The company says a simple touch of the screen lets users measure the radiation around them in about 2 minutes, and will come in 8 different colors, including pink, blue, purple, and orange.
“I received many tweets asking for some way to detect radiation” after the disaster, said Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son at a press conference in Tokyo. “So I decided, ‘let’s do it.'”
The phone has a specially designed chip that can detect gamma radiation in the air at doses of between 0.05 and 9.99 microsieverts per hour. The phone then uses its GPS to place readings on a map.
The Pantone 5 only has one physical button on its front, it’s the same color as the back of the device, and its sole function is to open the radiation detector app. The app itself is remarkably simple — press the button, wait ten seconds for the detector to acquire a reading, and then see how many microsieverts are flying through the air.
Other specs include a 3.7-inch screen with 854 x 480 resolution, 4-megapixel camera, and it will also be water- and dust-proof.
SoftBank claims that it’ll be accurate to within 20 percent, and doesn’t recommend its use in critical situations. It should ship sometime in mid-July, but no word yet on pricing.
Apple stores in Japan have been selling iPhone-compatible radiation detectors for a while now.
Source: The Verge
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