Want to know if there’s an impending earthquake? There’s an app for that!
Your phone can now be part of a distributed seismograph after scientists from UC Berkeley unveiled a new way to predict earthquakes by harnessing the combined power of the world’s smartphones.
Named MyShake, the app turns your phone into a background quake-detector, scanning the phone’s accelerometer data in real time and forwarding any rumblings that fit the profile of seismic activity, reports the Verge.According to the Verge, the app takes advantage of the increasingly sensitive accelerometers built into phones, which are sensitive enough to distinguish the distinct profile of an earthquake from the regular jostling of daily life.
If enough seismic signals are sent in at the same time, the app will recognize it as the early rumblings of an earthquake and notify the US Geological Survey, which will pass the alarm on to traditional first responders.
Notably, those early rumblings will typically come before people in the affected region notice any shaking at all.