As a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, radiation detectors have been a popular item for Japanese consumers. Recognizing the market for such devices, last month Scosche - a company known for its car audio and iPod/iPhone accessories - released its RDTX-Pro radiation detector and app for iPhone and iPod touch in Japan. With that model apparently flying off the shelves - it is temporarily out of stock on Scosche's website - the company has decided to expand the product line with the announcement of two new radiation detectors.
With the exception of a stand-alone alarm function and slight reduction in accuracy, the new RDTX offers the same features as the aforementioned RDTX-PRO. It connects to an iPhone or iPod touch via the dock connector and is powered by the connected iDevice. The device requires no calibration and Scosche claims it will accurately detect gamma radiation above 120 keV within +/- 10 percent accuracy - the PRO model offers +/- 5 percent accuracy.
The accompanying radTEST app lets users chose between a basic Meter Display or more detailed Digital Display modes. The Meter Display indicates current radiation levels in easy to understand colors - green for safe, yellow for elevated and red for dangerous - while the Digital Display provides more detailed measurements, including uSV/h (micro Sieverts per hour), dose received, and average uSV/h levels since reset. The app also allows users to share their results online, through Facebook, Twitter and Google Maps.
The second new radiation detector is the HRDTX home radiation detector that looks like a smoke detector and plugs into a wall outlet. Adapters for various world outlets are included with the device. It uses the same fast photosensor technology as the RDTX with a light indicating the current radiation level. A green light indicates safe levels, while yellow indicates an elevated level and will see the unit beeping every 30 minutes as a warning. At dangerous levels a red light will be displayed and the unit will beep continuously at 105 db. The HRDTX also connects to the home's Wi-Fi network to allow it to send emails to specified addresses when elevated radiation levels are detected.
Scosche will release the RDTX in Japan next month with the HRDTX becoming available in January 2012. Pricing on both units is yet to be announced. The radTEST app for iPhone and iPod touch is available as a free download from the iTunes App Store.