Did you know that your smartphone has the ability to warn you about earthquakes?
UC Berkeley is taking this feature a little further. They want your phone to help detect a quake. The school has now released an Android app called MyShake that uses your phone’s motion sensors to pick up the signs of tremors and then combines it with the data from every other user, so you become a part of a crowd sourcing seismic station network.
In the future, MyShake could even give you a heads-up. Once the software has established itself as trustworthy, it might send out early warnings to areas nearby and provide a countdown to help you get to safety in enough time. There are plans to also release an iOS app. The system is as effective as the number of people that are using it. For example, just a few testers won’t achieve much, but if it actually catches on and becomes popular, it could become lifesaving.