Picture this: The earth is about to shake and your smartphone alerts you of this natural phenomenon. Great, isn’t it? On Tuesday, Google shared the information of having developed an Android-based earthquake detection feature that will alert smartphone users when an earthquake is about to hit.
So, your Android phone will turn into a mini seismometer and you will join hundreds and thousands of other Android phones across the globe to form the largest earthquake detection network in the world. To begin with, earthquake alerts will start in California as a great seismometer-based system is already in place.
A statement issued by Google read: “Over the coming year, you can expect to see earthquake alerts coming to more states and countries using Android’s phone-based earthquake detection.”
How it works?
All smartphones have tiny accelerometers that can sense signals indicating an earthquake might be taking place. If the phone is able to detect something it thinks is likely to be an earthquake, a signal is sent to Google’s earthquake detection server along with a coarse location of where it is shaking. Thereafter, the server combines information from a number of other phones to figure out if an earthquake is actually taking place. “We’re essentially racing the speed of light (roughly the speed at which signals from a phone travel) against the speed of an earthquake. Luckily, the speed of light is faster!” Google statement added.