Apple had demonstrated how smartphones like iPhone 4, RIM’s BlackBerry Bold 9700, HTC’s Droid Eric, Samsung’s Omnia II, Motorola Driod X, Nokia N97 Mini lose signal strength when you grip them in a certain way (death grip).
Folks at Tawkon have added another dimension to the debate over iPhone 4 antenna issue.
We had written about Tawkon earlier this year. They had developed an interesting application for the iPhone that studied the amount of radiation emitted by the iPhone from any particular location. But it has not been approved by Apple yet.
Josh Winter from Tawkon provided us a brief summary of the technology behind their iPhone app:
Tawkon is based on the patent-pending RRITM (Real-time Radiation Indication) technology that collects and analyzes RF-related data extracted from the mobile device. Complex algorithms considering environmental and personal usage factors help determine actual radiation exposure levels. Results are calibrated in an RF lab to ensure radiation levels are accurately monitored and that actions taken actually helped lower the user’s exposure to radiation.
Tawkon measures the exposure of the user to the radiation of their own mobile phone. All the information about the transmission power of the mobile phone is available on the device itself, in the cellular protocol stack that manages the cellular modem (baseband). We use this information in the form of different RF parameters extracted from the device itself. We then take into consideration the proximity of the phone to the user (for example if they hold the phone against their ear or on their lap) to help determine the actual exposure level to know when the user is actually exposed physically at any given time.
As part of the production procedure we have, each device goes through a long calibration process in an RF lab prior to its release to make sure that our measurements meet the actual values. The equipment we work with in the RF labs includes – RF chamber, Base station simulators, SAR measurement machines, etc. (same equipment that is being used by the mobile vendors).
Since radiation levels from a cell phone have been deemed to be safe enough, applications such as Tawkon can lead to false concerns among users about cell phone radiation affecting their health. This can have larger implications, which is probably the reason Apple hasn’t approved the iPhone app.
Anyways coming back to the reason for the post, they sent an email to tell us that they carried out an experiment to find out how the death grip impacts the radiation level on smartphones like iPhone 4, BlackBerry 9700, and Nexus One.
You can checkout the video to see the results:
They go on to explain:
As you can see in our quick demo, this phenomenon is not exclusive to the iPhone – the way you hold the phone – and specifically blocking the receiver – increases the transmission power of the phone to maintain good cellular connectivity, and thereby increases radiation levels you’re exposed to.
There are many other factors influencing radiation levels – such as your location, operators network load, your phone model SAR levels, etc – but during this demo we made an effort to keep changing factors constant so we could isolate and see the impact of the Death Grip on several different phones.
It is very clear from the experiment that smartphones face the death grip issue and is not limited to just iPhone 4, which again highlights that the iPhone 4 antenna issue is blown out of proportion.
What do you think? Let us know your views in the comments.
We’ve updated the post with more accurate explanation of the technology behind Tawkon. Thanks Josh for providing us with the details. We hope your iPhone app gets approved.