There were been suggestions for years about health risks regarding using mobile phones. The city of San Francisco is legislating retailers to give out health warning material. CTIA attorney is fighting back asking the judge to freeze city ordinance requiring phone retailers to disclose possible health risks. The city stands by its law and believes people should be educated about ways to reduce risk.
The law was adopted two years ago and retailers need to inform mobile buyers the risks. Due to the rise of smart phone adoption in our everyday lives, there have been several questions posed on the safety as a result of radiation as well as heat. Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range and people believe that this may be harmful to the health of human beings. There are large bodies of research that involve both epidemiological and experimental and both on humans and non-humans but no definitive conclusions.
Back to the ordinacne, funny they call it a fact sheet. Is it really a fact? Not until we can prove someone died from radiation as a result of talking too much on your cell phone, can you make that claim now? We are used to health warnings that may not be truthful but of good intent, on the other hand it is hard to have definitive evidence and often scientific studies can’t prove either way. It could take decades for us to understand whether the risks are real or not.
Lawyers gave an example from Starbucks, which has to post a warning since a chemical produced in the coffee-making process is known to cause cancer. If we use this standard, we will be getting 100 “fact sheets” a day from drinking, eating, reading and simply walking into a store or getting into a car. Maybe someone can develop an app for that; there’s the unmet needs. The other innovation opportunity is for a low radiation and shielded smart phone, Motorola, Samsung, Blackberry, Nokia.. anyone interested?
I think we get more harm from watching TV, it is the number 3 activity a person does following sleep and work. According to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers, prolonged TV viewing was associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death. The study first appeared in the June 15, 2011, edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. I think this conclusion has a lot more merits. I think all TV programs should have a health warning including physical and mental health implications. I think many programs can reduce our ability to think if you know what I mean.
Another innovation opportunity is to have a breaker to limit how much time each individual spends in front of a smart TV. It will point you to the gym once you’ve spent more that you are allowed and will monitor your exercise through your iPhone. Isn’t this a cool idea?
Idris Mootee is the CEO of Idea Couture, a strategic innovation and experience design firm. He is the author of four books, many published articles, and a frequent speaker at business conferences and executive retreats.