Turn Your Smartphone/Tablets into a Radiation Detector
Researchers in Japan have developed a Pocket Geiger that lets your iPhone or Android phone, act as a gamma radiation detector. We’re not talking about the same quality of detection as a commercial detector, but if you spend a lot of time in planes, or you live in an area with high levels of natural background radiation (granite, limestone, high altitude), you might want to consider using your smartphone as a cheap, fairly accurate gamma radiation detector. Such a smartphone could be very useful for emergency services who are first on the scene and aren’t equipped with the correct radiation gear.
While Pocket Geiger won’t turn your phone into a professional-grade radiation meter, it is surprisingly effective. To use the Pocket Geiger, you connect it to your Smartphone audio output, load the free App, called "Pocket Geiger Lite”, and its photodiode sensors will detect and calculate the radiation dose caused by a nearby source of gamma radiation. It wasn’t exact, but it was more than good enough to tell you when you’re being bombarded with more radiation than you should be. The level of radiation is expressed as an amount of radiation in Sievert (Sv) per hour of exposure. Average individual background radiation dose for Americans is 0.34 μSv/h.
Pocket Geiger has fives models: Type 2 for iPhone, Type 3 for iPhone & Android, Type 4 and 4S for iPhone. Type 2, 4/4S, uses the iPhone headphone output as a power supply, no battery is needed (Note:Type 2, 4/4S do NOT support Apple iOS devices sold in Europe). Type 4/4S are the next generation of Type 2 for Apple iOS device with Ultra High Sensitivity. The measuring time needed for a stable reading for Type 4/4S has been reduced from 15 minutes to 2 minutes. The difference between 4 and 4S is that the 4S detector has a clear case, the electronics inside the detector can be seen through. Type 3 works for both Apple iOS and Android devices and the power is supplied by a 9V external battery. Please note that the iPhone in the picture is not included and the Pocket Geiger can detect X ray and Gamma Ray only.
Radiation is colorless, odorless and tasteless. It is impossible to tell whether you are being exposed and, if so, to how much, unless you have a Geiger counter or similar device. We believe that everyone should have the right to know the correct radiation level in a given location. Right now a mother or father has no way of making sure whether the park nearby is safe for her or his child to play. In the past, it was hard to get a Geiger counter even if we wanted one, costing hundreds of dollars to buy. Because of this, Radiation-watch.org has developed a survey meter that is both reliable and affordable.
Pocket Geiger has received numerous awards, including Good Design Award in 2012 and RedDot Design Award in 2013. Good Design Award, born in 1957, is a comprehensive program for the evaluation and encouragement of design organized by Japan Institute of Design Promotion. RedDot Design Award is an international product design prize awarded by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany. There are prize categories for product design, design agencies, and design concepts. Since 1955, designers and producers can apply for the prizes with the winners being presented in an annual ceremony. Winning products are presented in the Red Dot Design Museum on the premises of the historical Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen. The Red Dot Design Award has more than 11,000 submissions from 61 countries.