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Homeland Security to Develop Cell Phones That ‘Smell’ Poisonous Gas

Caleb Johnson
Switched [1]
April 13, 2010

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security [2] wants to make us into walking poison [3] detectors. According to Physorg [4], as part of a program called Cell-All, the department will develop by the end of the year 40 cell phone [5] prototypes that can detect poisonous gas in the air. Officials say cell phones available today can be modified to do this by simply inserting a chip [6] that costs less than $1. When the chip detects a harmful toxin in the air, it alerts the owner by vibrating or making a noise. If the threat is serious enough, the phone will send a message with its findings to a central server. Then, that server will check phones near that location to make sure the findings aren’t in error. After determining the danger, authorities would be notified and possibly deployed.

Homeland Security claims the service will be used on a volunteer basis, and that all information will remain anonymous and confidential. Still, we expect more questions about privacy [7] to come up as details become available, especially since it sounds like this service will essentially track your cell phone’s location. But Cell-All could save the government time, money and manpower when it comes to responding to toxic gas threats. [From: Physorg [4], via: Fox News [8]]