Safecast participated in the Kobe IT Festival 2014, which was held on November 28 and 29 at the Design and Creative Center Kobe (KIITO). With the support and cooperation of Eyes, Japan Co., Ltd., Safecast held a two-day workshop: on the first day attendees built their own bGeigie Nano, and on the second they learned more about Safecast and our API, along with a tutorial on measuring radiation.
One of the participants was a first-year student from Aizu University, and he commented, “This is first time I’ve ever used solder, but with assistance from these good instructors I’m feeling very comfortable about how well I was able to build this Geiger counter. I hope to organize a bGeigie Nano workshop for other students at Aizu University in order to raise awareness about our environment. Also, it would be a good opportunity for the students to improve their hardware skills by building their own bGeigie Nanos, and their software skills by helping tackle the list of software issues.”
A computer engineer who lives in Kobe City also participated in the workshop. He found that there is not much data for Kobe on the Safecast data map, and he mentioned, “I’m quite active in Kobe, so I’m happy to help collect data around here with this bGeigie Nano. Also, I’m interested in installing a fixed Geiger counter at my house to monitor the environment. I can hardly wait for the new add-on under development to be finalized, so my bGeigie Nano will be able to function as a fixed sensor.”
Another participant from Tokyo had been interested in the activity of Safecast for a long time. He was finally able to break free of his busy schedule to build his own bGeigie Nano in Kobe.
It was the first time for Safecast to hold a workshop in the Kansai region (western Japan). Compared to people further east in the in the Kanto and Tohoku regions, people in Kansai seem to have less interest in radiation, and this was probably reflected in the attendance at this workshop. However, radioactive materials are persistent in the environment, and can be transferred from place to place, and radiation exposure is possible anywhere. Even if the concern about radiation exposure in a particular place is not large, it is useful for people to know the radiation levels of their surroundings under “normal” conditions, so they will be better able to tell when something unusual and potentially concerning has happened.