Carrying a geiger counter around in public (if you’re not in Fukushima) sometimes alarms people, and one gets told off in places like supermarkets. So if you’re looking for an unobtrusive geiger counter, it’s finally here, check out the Pocket Geiger… featured in the Dec 5 issue of the Japan Times, See extract below:

Pocket Geiger counter is a breath of fresh air

News photo

“Pocket Geiger, one of many gadgets on display at the Maker Faire Tokyo 2012 last weekend, is a handheld radiation detector developed by engineers and scientists belonging to “” — a pro bono project aimed at making high-quality radiation monitoring easier, cheaper and more citizen-oriented.

Founder Yang Ishigaki said the device uses tiny PIN photodiodes, which are commonly used as light sensors for infrared remote-control devices but can also pick up Gamma-ray radiation.
…three versions of the Geiger counters are now available — ranging from the cheapest DIY model, which fits into an empty Frisk mints case (¥1,850, without the case), to the latest model with a high-quality sensor and a sleek, metallic case (¥6,450).

The Pocket Geiger can be hooked to smart phones to show aerial radiation levels in as short as two minutes. The detectors have been certified by the Dutch Metrology Institute, which conducted the calibration tests. Users can upload and share data using a free iPhone/Android application. So far, data from around a million locations across eastern Japan have been shared, Ishigaki said. “Lately, many businesses and universities have shown interest,” he said. “They say they need to set up a lot more monitoring posts on (contaminated) farmlands and forests. We would like to eventually shift our services to such demands.”

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Digitally yours,

Aileen Kawagoe