The Great East Japan Earthquake. Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s been a year and three months since the magnitude 9 undersea megathrust earthquake triggered the powerful tsunami that devastated the north-eastern coast of Japan and caused the on-going nuclear crisis in Fukushima. And while the country and its people have done their best to pick up the pieces and look toward the future, one painful reminder for a long time to come will be the high radiation levels present in the area of the disaster.
Not coincidentally, a market for personal radiation detectors sprung up around the time the disaster struck. Japanese cell phone provider Softbank has taken that idea and married it to a mobile phone. Their first ever offering, the Pantone 5 107SH, is a fairly standard Android phone whose claim to fame is a built in geiger counter used to detect radiation. Pushing a button below the screen turns on the sensor, records your surroundings, and gives you information on the radiation levels in the area.
The phone is expected to drop in July in a plethora of Pantone approved colors. No word on pricing yet, but one would hope it’d be as affordable as possible to easily get it into the hands of those who need it.
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