In a natural disaster like an earthquake, even a few seconds’ heads ups could save thousands of lives. You could use that time to evacuate you and your loved ones and get them to someplace safe and prevent them from injuries and fatalities. Google is launching o feature today that gives you an early warning about potential earthquakes happening, and also turns the phone into a mini seismometer and make it part of a network of shockwave-detecting Andriod devices.
“The public infrastructure to detect and alert everyone about an earthquake is costly to deploy,” Google basic software engineer of Andriod Marc stomatitis said in a post today. Not everyone is signed up to receive text alerts, for instance, so if the early warning system is built into the OS, these messages can reach more people. Google first worked hand-in-hand with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to send these alerts to Andriod devices in California through the USGS’ Shake Alert system.
This uses data gotten fro more than 700 seismometers across the state to figure out when an earthquake will commence. But it can be expensive to or challenging to install such a network in other impacted areas around the world, which is where the Android Earthquake Alerts Systems comes in handy. Users all over the world can tap into the program starting today. “Your Android phone can turn into a mini seismometer, joining millions of other Android phones out there to form the world’s largest earthquake detection network,” Stogaitis said.
The results of this work will for now be displayed when you look for an “earthquake” or “earthquake near me” to show you if Andriod phones around you are picking up similar activities. Stogaities added that the search results will also surface tips from “helpful, credible resources” on what to do after an earthquake.
The Earthquake alerts are coming out in California first since there’s already a great seismometer-based system in place. Stomatitis said the feature will roll out to more states and regions using the Android-based detection over the coming year.