‘American cell phones can already check e-mail, surf the Internet and store music, but they could have a new set of features in coming years: the Department of Homeland Security wants them to sense biological, chemical and radioactive material.
Putting hazardous material sensors in commercial cell phones has been discussed in scientific circles for years, according to researchers in the field. More recently, the idea gained support among government agencies, and DHS said publicly in May that it wants businesses to start coming up with proposals. [..]
S&T spokesman Christopher Kelly said the theoretical system’s strength would lie in the sheer number of sensors. The cell phone sensors might be less sophisticated than highly advanced ones some developers are fitting into hand-held models, but they would make up for it in what Kelly called “ubiquitous detection.”’