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Softbank unveils world's first smartphone with radiation detector

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It has been reported elsewhere that the phone detects gamma radiation. The main radioactive materials of concern from the Fukushima accident all decay by emitting beta radiation. If the phone doesn't detect beta radiation, it won't be able to detect the decay of Iodine 131, Caesium 134 or 137. It's the radioactive iodine that can build up in the thyroid and result in thyroid cancer.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

how about a smartphone that can read pollution levels

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How about an option of a phone that just makes damn phone calls?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

It should prove a useful tool.

If a lot of people have them, the phone could detect a hotspot and sent GPS coordinates to a database. A lot of customers could piece together a "radiation map" by simply going about their daily business.

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The_harper, both Iodine and Cesium emit GAMMA rays, not beta, so this phone would pick up both of them (http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/faqs/radiationtypes.html). Strontium is a beta emitter, and while it would be nice if a phone could be made to pick that up too (as well as alpha radiation while we are at it), it would require a special type of geiger tube and it would end up being more geiger counter than phone.

For the most part, gamma radiation detection is sufficient

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What types of radiation does it measure? Gamma? Xray? Beta? More into please!

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Iodine 131 and Caesium 134 or 137 both emit BETA radiation particles as they decay. You would indeed need an appropriate Geiger counter, otherwise it's a little misleading to release such a phone. For the record, I like Masayoshi Son. I think he means well.

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@futuredrive2: Exactly, they need to release info on what it can and can't detect.

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Masayoshi Son has found a gap in the market. I would imagine these would sell well in Japan assuming the majority of people can afford them.

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why not just make a mini usb Geiger-teller add-on?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is it just me, or does this just make it appear to the rest of the world that people across Japan all live in fear of radiation, and that it's a constant danger that they must endure throughout their daily lives?

Sure radiation is a problem here, and it needs to be monitored, but is this a bit too much? While they're at it, they should also include a small compartment for iodine pills....

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originalusername wrote:

The_harper, both Iodine and Cesium emit GAMMA rays, not beta,

Actually, no, they emit beta radiation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodine-131 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesium-134#Caesium-134

The biggest danger with the iodine is ingesting it from food or in dust. While we're quoting Wikipedia, you might want to read this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_effects_from_Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster

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way of earning money...

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Apologies, saying they dont emit beta rays is not correct, HOWEVER, as your wikipedia articles show, they emit both. And therefore it doesnt matter if it cannot pick up beta radiation - it can be assumed that where there is Gamma radiation, there will also be beta radiation.

Virtually all of the radiation maps, radiation levels you see quoted in Sieverts, refer to Gamma radiation. Also, almost all consumer level geiger counters are gamma only.

If you find a hotspot with a gamma counter, you avoid it, and if possible, go back with a REAL spectrometer to find out which isotope it is.

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There's a poster on my train of a guy advertising a radiation detector (with a huge smile), now there's a phone with an attached detector....and everyone is talking about it as if its just another thing on the market...the normalcy about it scares me the most.

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I look forward to the eventual square meter grid mapping out Tokyo's hotspots. Hope there is some control around the process to make it believable, or at least that the false negatives the jgov creates are offset by the false positives from the anti-nuke crowd.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

why do they make radiation detector phones?? if the Japanese government says "Japan is 100% SAFE"

mmmmmm

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Someone who gets one, please walk around the perimeter of Kadena base in Okinawa.

I've ... heard things.

I just wonder if it's true.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Was not on Kadena AB but 400 Muns area. But they are long gone.

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it can probably do everything but make a decent phone call

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Why doesn't this article include a photograph of the new cell phone? Or even the model number so we can find a photo on our own? If anyone else is interested, it's the Sharp Pantone 5 107SH.

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Why doesn't this article include a photograph of the new cell phone? Or even the model number so we can find a photo on our own? If anyone else is interested, it's the Sharp Pantone 5 107SH.

Snolygoster... ANN News ran a video report yesterday on the new phone. It looks like any other smartphone but appears to have a button activating the Geiger counter on the main body under the screen. They are planning both smartphone and conventional handset versions..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't all mobile phones detect radiation through their signal strength bar?

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Apologies, saying they dont emit beta rays is not correct, HOWEVER, as your wikipedia articles show, they emit both. And therefore it doesnt matter if it cannot pick up beta radiation - it can be assumed that where there is Gamma radiation, there will also be beta radiation.

Thanks for the correction. Having checked more carefully, I agree with you to an extent. If there's gamma radiation due to radioactive decay, there will also be alpha or beta radiation. In this case, the two isotopes of concern produce beta and gamma radiation (gamma radiation can also come from sources other than radioactive decay). I hope that the phones (and all the other radiation detectors people are buying) come with information on what background radiation levels are likely to be, and where they may vary - for example in areas with granite. I also hope the devices come with information specifying what levels of radiation are considered safe, otherwise people may worry for no reason over background levels. Rather than providing the intended reassurance, they may just be an unnecessary source of stress.

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2 ( +2 / -0 )

Fearmongering = profit

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