Japanese carrier Softbank will introduce the Sharp Pantone 5 (107SH), a Pantone branded smartphone that comes in an array of cheerful colors- bright pink, sunny yellow, and rich purple are among the eye-catching choices for the phone. But the phone is more than just a ‘pretty face;’ the Pantone 5 (107SH) runs on Android 4.0 and comes with standard features for Japanese phones, like a wireless e-touch wallet, 0.3-megapixel front camera, a television, as well as a built in radiation detector.
The Pantone 5 (107SH) is the world’s first phone to come with a built in radiation detector. While a radiation detector may seem like an unnecessary add-on for American or European audiences, after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, many Japanese citizens still live in fear of exposure to radiation. A large percentage of the population have started to carry radiation meters to help ensure their food, water, and environment are safe.
With its built-in radiation detector, the Pantone 5 (107SH) makes it easier for concerned citizens to monitor their radiation levels. Sharp constructed the phone to highlight the radiation detector feature- the only button on the front of the phone, large and colorful in the bottom right hand corner, deploys the radiation detector app. Users only need to wait 10 seconds to get a measure of radiation levels, and can track various levels with a built-in map on the app.
The app is not only helpful for individuals, but could also be helpful for the greater population. When people use the app, public, community-sourced maps could update the latest radiation level readings in specific areas based on check-ins–meaning everyone with the phone could check the radiation at various locations without even having to be present, helping people plan trips and stay in unaffected areas. The data could also be used in government monitoring, cutting down on costs of having to hire employees to check radiation levels by relying on crowd-sourcing.
The Pantone 5 (107SH) shows the potential for using technology to create devices that serve a greater need; for those not worried about radiation, the phone is just a more colorful version of a smartphone, but for those living in fear, the device can provide the calm they need to carry on their day-to-day activities.
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