SoftBank Unveils a Radiation-Scanning Phone

SoftBank,the third largest Japanese phone carrier, is releasing something new for its Summer of 2012 lineup. The new Pantone 5 SoftBank 107SH Android smartphones will have integrated radiation detectors. It is able to detect estimated gamma radiation of between 0.05 and 9.99. Press a button to activate the radiation detection feature. Wait ten seconds for it to take a reading. It will place the location that the reading was taken onto a map.

SoftBank is debating on whether or not to add a social aspect to this, for people to share their radiation readings. This is because the readings can vary, depending on how they are taken. Another issue is that there isn’t a hard definition of a minimum dangerous level of this type of radiation. These phones will go on sale in Japan in July of 2012. A price has not yet been set.

There is a lot of concern in Japan about the harm that can come from high radiation levels. This is especially worrying for parents of young children. There has been a call for radiation monitoring at schools and other public facilities in the country. Parts of northeastern Japan are still off-limits because of the high radiation levels after the Fukushima nuclear power plant was devastated by a huge earthquake and tsunami that occurred in 2011.

The Pantone 5 series of SoftBank phones come in eight bright colors. The advertisements show the phones with an image on their screen of ice cream cones that match the color of the phone it is being displayed on. The phones have a 3.7 inch screen with 854 x 480 pixels resolution. They are powered by a 1.4 GHz single-core processor. The phones also have a 4-megapixel rear-facing camera, Bluetooth 3.0, and will run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.