Telecoms firm SoftBank has developed the Pantone 5 107SH smartphone, which features an in-built radiation detector.
Since the tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster that shook Japan early in 2011, there have been a number of thoughtful innovations hoping to provide protection in the event of an emergency – from escape pods to shopping bags that double as safety helmets. Adding to this list, Japanese telecoms firm SoftBank has developed the Pantone 5 107SH smartphone, which features an in-built radiation detector. Manufactured by Sharp, the 115mm × 58mm × 12mm handset features a specially-developed miniature silicon semiconductor version of the Geiger counter, used to measure the levels of radiation in the atmosphere, which can be operated with one button. Able to detect gamma rays within the range of 9.99 microsieverts per hour and 0.05 microsieverts per hour, users can get information on radiation levels in real-time or map the results across a specified time period. The Pantone 5 107SH aims to equip residents of Japan – or other locations with nuclear power facilities – with the ability to test the safety of the surroundings without having to carry around a separate device. With this in mind, the smartphone includes a 4.9-megapixel camera, a graphic mail feature, 900MHz ‘platinum’ band wireless connectivity, a waterproof case and a choice of eight colors to ensure the device remains an attractive proposition for mobile users. The model is set to be available in July. According to reports, the Japanese government did not widely disseminate information about radiation levels surrounding the Fukushima plant in 2011 and this idea could put power into the hands of citizens. What other safety features are yet to be incorporated into smartphones that could deliver some added peace of mind to consumers? Spotted by: Katherine Noyes