Today, we are kicking it off with something new. We already bring you a terrific Theme Thursday Review, so why not throw in a weekly App Review as well? To start it off fresh, I bring you Tawkon for BlackBerry, the only app that can measure the radiation coming from your phone! Before I get into the review, allow me to give you a little background on how Tawkon came about. I had the pleasure of speaking with a couple different members from Tawkon via email. I persisted in asking a lot of questions about the app and even got a response back from the CEO/Co-Founder Gil Friedlander himself. According to Gil, Tawkon was developed over an 18month time span, mainly in his partner’s basement. He went on to tell me that “he was very intrigued by how we could see the reception signal indicators coming into the phone, but not the transmission signals emitted from the phone”. After hours of online research, Gil recognized the increasing dangers of mobile phone radiation, and how few practical solutions there are to avoid it. With that being said, he felt driven to design an application that would make users more aware of the dangers and help them take the necessary precautions to reduce their exposure to mobile radiation. There has been much skepticism regarding the risks of mobile phone radiation to which most people say, “we will all die from something someday, but it’s not likely to be radiation”. Personally, I have to agree with Tawkon’s response to those critics, “We’d rather not be blindfolded and better safe than sorry.”
According to the Cellular Telecommunications industry, specific absorption rate, or SAR, is "a way of measuring the quantity of radio frequency (RF) energy that is absorbed by the body." For a phone to pass FCC certification and be sold in the United States, its maximum SAR level must be less than 1.6 watts per kilogram. After digging around a bit, I was able to come across a BlackBerry chart listing almost all BlackBerry models SAR levels. The BlackBerry Bold 9700, and the 8703e, is tied for the highest SAR rating coming in at 1.55W/kg. If you own one of these devices, don’t freak out and think that you are exposing yourself to more radiation then others. Mobile phones haven’t been in use long enough to conclude long-term effects. Like Gil says, “Sure, it would be easier to emphasize only the neurological studies and health reports that find direct connections, but we believe in transparency and giving people the knowledge and tools to make their own decisions.” Please note that simply using a headset won't free you from cell phone radiation. Studies show that radio signals tend to follow up wired headsets to the ear, and even though Bluetooth headsets emit far weaker radiation than cell phones, there's still a small amount being transmitted. Have I caught your attention yet?
Check out The Debate offered on Tawkon’s website which really gives you a broader range of other points of view on the subject.
Now that you know the background, let’s get into the review. Tawkon, which derives from the word “talk on,” not only monitors and analyzes the radiation that is emitted from your Berry in Real-Time, but it also alerts you when radiation levels reach a predefined threshold. With these alerts, you receive suggestions on how to reduce your exposure to the radiation. Weekly, and Monthly graphs are also available, which help give you an idea of the amounts of radiation you have been exposed to. A great feature of Tawkon is Predicting Mode. While you are not on a call, Tawkon predicts the absorption levels if you made a call under the current conditions. Not only that, but it also maps out your home, office, and even your neighborhood for low-high radiation zones. A static green, yellow, or red icon is also labeled on your home screen indicating the current radiation levels. This app was made for the general safety for the public. Tawkon does everything it can to make you fully aware of the environment around you, and sub consciously; it has you thinking about the radiation exposure. With all skepticism put aside, Tawkon proves its self-worthy being that there is no other app of its kind and I would recommend it to anyone interested in their well-being. At the moment, Tawkon is only compatabile with the BlackBerry Bold 9700/9000, and the Curve 8900/8520.
When I asked Gil of his future plans for other devices, here is what he had to say. “We are constantly developing support for more devices, but this is a time consuming process as each phone model is developed to maximize the information. We can then extract that information from the device, and then it goes through an intense calibration process in an RF lab to ensure that the application on the specific model is accurate, and precisely reflects the actual exposure of the user to the non-ionizing radiation.”
Well there you have it folks. Tawkon in a nutshell. For more information and to purchase Tawkon please visit the link below. I also would like to thank Josh, Gil, and the entire Tawkon team for taking the time out of their lives to email with me back and forth. Not to mention, the 2 Free copies of Tawkon that are up for grabs in our VIP section!! Reminder the giveaway will be closed on Friday, July 23rd, at 11:59pm EST.
And regarding your last point. We understand your perspective. Of course some people may be SCARED as new research unveils indication of a health impact from mobile phone usage, but we believe more people APPRECIATE an EMPOWERING, practical way to take control of their own destiny, and we are catering to those who want to continue enjoying their mobile phones and all their convenience, but with knowledge and tools to "talk on" responsibly.