What would you do with a 40-second lead warning you that an earthquake is approaching where you are? Well, that was one of the things why scientists at the University of California at Berkeley published an application for Smartphones last Friday, who hope that one day it will become some kind of alarm for people that an earthquake is approaching, all with the aim of giving them time to move to a safer place, where their life is not in danger or where the risk of losing life decrease, application named after MyShake app.
For now, the app MyShake, available for devices with Android operating system, will act as a data collector that will use the phone’s accelerometer to record an earthquake. If it is determined to have the same characteristics as an earthquake, the application will send the data to the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.
The goal is to get people all over the world to download the app, then validate this version and test it. On launch day, the application has been downloaded by users on five continents. Most of the users are from the United States. Richard all, the app’s developer told CNN that smartphones will never replace seismic networks, but the app could help contribute to and potentially speed up earthquake warning systems.
Allen said that their simulations suggest that they will need 300 users in an area of 1,000 square kilometers to obtain good data from that earthquake, now, ShakeAlert only issues alerts when four traditional seismic stations are activated, “Allen said on the website of the university. “But if we also have data from mobile devices, maybe we would have to use just one station before issuing an alert.” (ShakeAlert is a product of the US Geological Survey geological survey)
Allen believes MyShake would be particularly useful in countries like Nepal and Peru. “They don’t have advanced seismic technology but they have millions of mobile devices,” he mentioned. Most of those phones use the Android operating system, so the first application was designed for those phones.