Your Android phone can notify you of an earthquake seconds before it happens. Here’s how


Image: Google

If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you’re probably used to the inexplicable shaking of the ground. But in recent years, technology has allowed governments and private companies to create earthquake warning systems.

These systems, like Google’s Android Earthquake Alerts System, cannot predict an earthquake, because that technology is not available. But it can give people a few seconds longer to do the work to prepare.

On October 25th, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck the San Francisco Bay Area. Twitter user Thanks to Google for the tip, they got it right announcement of the next earthquake it was only seconds before the earth shook.

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Google’s earthquake information is available worldwide but is most advanced in California, Oregon and Washington, where seismometer systems can communicate with Google’s servers.

Google Earthquake uses data from Android phones and the phones’ accelerometers, which are small sensors that when used together, can detect an impending earthquake before the wall. taking Accelerometers on phones are how Android phones can detect people in places without seismometer systems of an earthquake.

Those sensors send signals to Google’s earthquake detection center, calculating the location of the earthquake, and Android users are then alerted to earthquake activity.

Technology is constantly evolving to help us stay safe, such as Google’s earthquake detection system and Apple’s emergency notification. iPhone users can get earthquake alerts — through iPhone Settings in some places, or from a third-party app. This week’s alerts have been compared between Android and iPhone alerts.

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David Kleidermacher, a member of Google’s security team, symbol Google subscribes to the “power of openness,” and other companies do not. He said Apple didn’t notify an iPhone user in his office about an earthquake until after it happened.

Google says that seismometer systems are expensive to build and operate, so the solution is to use Android phones as mini seismometers. But as Robert de Groot, a member of the ShakeAlert team, told Wired, for the phones to work as an earthquake, people need to be close to the earthquake.

As Google refines the technology, they hope to notify people of an earthquake with more seconds between the notification and a strong earthquake. The technology is new and developing, so it may take longer than a minute for people to cover it.


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