Google is turning Android phones into an Earthquake detection device

Earthquakes have become more frequent these days. No matter what people might say regarding climate change, the fact remains that the earth’s environment is undergoing drastic changes.

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But unfortunately, most warning systems which claim to predict earthquake accurately have a limited reach. The main problem with these systems is their reliance on local sensors, seismic stations, and local communication networks. This results in a delay in transmitting information which may very make a difference between life and death.

Google has provided a simple yet a novel solution to this problem.

“An Android phone-powered earthquake alert system”

Almost all Android phones have potential sensors inside them. This stores data which can be used in detecting potential earthquakes as they happen. The accelerometer in android phones when paired with location data has the ability to detect the P-wave which is the first wave of an earthquake.

How does the system works
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The Android phone when it detects something that it may be an earthquake. It sends that signal to google’s earthquake detection server’s, along with the carse location of where the shaking occurred. The servers then combine information from various Android phones around the area to determine whether an actual earthquake has taken place.

Over the coming years, Google is planning to sent real-time notifications. The areas which do not have a ground system of seismometers are the company’s primary targets.

Earlier, Google integrated its early warning Shake-Alert system from California and the United States Geological Survey. It successfully fired an “Earthquake nearby” notification for the 19th September California earthquake. The notification tells the user’s to “expect shaking” and also how far the tremor is, as well as the magnitude of the earthquake.

Tapping on the notification also offers a card-based feed of useful information like safety tips. Additionally, it also provides a map with information about your location from the epicenter.

This feature could make a life and death difference in the coming future. Google is planning to implement this feature globally in the coming year. It will set a new era in the global usage of the smartphone.


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