The hard work of researchers have brought good results as the new App developed by them at the University of California, Berkeley can detect earthquakes from your android smartphone and warn you to move to a safer place. The android app ‘my shake’ can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and moreover runs with minimal power in the background so that a phone’s onboard accelerometers can record local shaking any time of the day or night. The App is available free of cost for the users.
How does ‘My Shake ‘App works?
The smartphone’s accelerometer data is scanned by the “MyShake” Android app real time and forwarding any rumblings that fit the profile of seismic activity. If the algorithm decides that the shake is from an earthquake, it immediately sends basic information – such as the time and amplitude of the shaking, and the phone’s position as measured by GPS – to the University of California, Berkeley, Seismological Laboratory where the program was created for analysis.With the help of a smartphone’s accelerometer – the motion-detection instrument – the app called MyShake taps a phone’s ability to record ground shaking from an earthquake.
Hence, according to scientists, an earthquake is confirmed by the ‘My shake’ apps if more than least 60% of all phones detect an earthquake within a 10km (6 miles) radius. Moreover, scientists can automatically alert other phones within the earthquake’s impending path in less than a second based on the data. More lives of people can be saved by notifying people of the risk of the quake and giving them a chance to move to safer place.
Scientists need enough people to download and use the app before they can work out all the kinks. The alert feature is not on the app at the moment, but will be added later as an upgrade. There are an estimated 1 billion devices worldwide and 16 million smartphones in California.
However, once enough people are using it, the seismologists plan to use the data to warn people miles from ground zero that shaking is rumbling their way.