April 5, 2010

Apple blocks iPhone radiation monitoring app

by Darren Allan

Apple has turned down an app which claims to work out your radiation level exposure when on the iPhone.

The Tawkon app is designed to tell the user when radiation levels are potentially too high for comfort, and then provide advice on how to reduce those levels.

Tawkon concocts a real-time estimation of the radiation levels a phone user is being exposed to using SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) levels, and factors such as your location – whether you’re deep within a building, for example, where the iPhone is forced to work harder to maintain a connection.

The app even takes into account environmental factors such as the weather, and how you’re holding your phone.

If heavier exposure is detected, Tawkon will recommend measures such as using a headset, moving to a different location, and so forth.

It seems like a sensible precautionary app, but Apple has denied approval because the company says it may cause unnecessary confusion amongst its iPhone user base.

The makers of Tawkon remain hopeful it will eventually be approved, however, and are working on a BlackBerry version as well.

Gil Friedlander, CEO of the company which has developed Tawkon, said of the app: “By leveraging [the] smart phone’s unique capabilities including GPS accelerometer and proximity sensors, we can alert users [to] when they’re actually exposed to mobile phone radiation, and suggest which specific precautionary measures will help to minimize radiation exposure in real time.”

The long term effects of radiation from mobiles are really an unknown quantity at this point in time, particularly with youngsters now having phones from a very early age.

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