Google is using the massive install base of Android to help with earthquake detection. The company is setting out to build the world’s largest earthquake detection network. To accomplish this, it intends to harness the power of Android to help sense earthquakes as they happen.
The company is calling its massive earthquake detection system the Android Earthquake Alerts System, and it could be a game-changer for anyone who lives in an area that frequently deals with earthquakes.
What Is the Android Earthquake Alerts System?
Basically, Google’s new system turns your Android phone into a mini seismometer. It’s using the accelerometer that’s already built into most smartphones to sense that an earthquake might be occurring at the phone’s location.
If your phone detects what it thinks is an earthquake, it sends a signal to Google’s earthquake detection server. From there, the server will combine data in the same area to figure out if an earthquake is happening.
Google announced the earthquake detection system in a post on The Keyword. In the post, the company said it’s “essentially racing the speed of light against the speed of an earthquake. And lucky for us, the speed of light is much faster!” This statement checks out because the signal from a phone moves at approximately the speed of light.
In a nutshell, Google is crowdsourcing earthquake detection, and it actually sounds like it could work. Of course, you’ll need to opt-in to be part of this program, so you don’t need to worry about Google monitoring your device unless you want it to.
Get Earthquake Alerts With Google’s New System
To get earthquake alerts going in California, Google has partnered with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). The alerts are powered by ShakeAlert to send earthquake warnings directly to Android devices in California.
Google is currently only rolling out its earthquake alert system in California. It plans to roll it out in more states and countries throughout the year.
Each location will use Android’s phone-based earthquake detection and alert system to give you a couple of extra seconds to prepare. Which, in a natural disaster like an earthquake, that can be the difference between life and death.
This isn’t Google’s first foray into this area. In fact, Google previously launched a tool to help direct you away from natural disasters.
Read the full article: Your Android Phone Can Now Help With Earthquake Detection