Open-source geiger counter about to score over $100K on Kickstarter

A limited edition run of the open-source geiger counter designed by Xbox hacker and Chumby co-founder, Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, is about to score over $100,000 on Kickstarter in less than an hour. Huang designed the geiger counter as a way to help citizens in Japan detect radiation in the wake of the nuclear disaster in the face of a lack of reliable, official data.

The funding will go to the Safecast group, which has been creating an open source data base of radiation contamination for the people impacted by Fukushima (they’ve got 3 million data points). Geiger manufacturer International Medcom has agreed to start producing the design. You need to pledge at least $400 to get one of the limited geiger counters, and $7,500 will get you a tour around the areas in Japan with Safecast.

After several iterations of the geiger counter, Huang designed the tool to be “suitable for everyday civilian use,” affordable, intuitive, easy to use and “sufficiently stylish,” he wrote earlier this year. The final design includes:

  • Extensive logging capabilities
  • The ability to work in scenarios where Internet and power have been out for days
  • A sensor that can detect all three forms of radiation (Alpha, Beta and Gamma)
  • 450 mAh Li-poly battery
  • Accelerometer so sensor orientation can be recorded
  • 128×128 color OLED display
  • microUSB port for charging and data upload interface