Google is adding an earthquake alert feature for California on Tuesday. Android phones will receive warning notification triggered by the ShakeAlert earthquake early-warning system implemented on the west coast by the US Geological Survey and partners.
The ShakeAlert utilize the signal from hundreds of seismometers installed across the state to trigger warning messages. The principal software engineer at Google Marc Stogaitis said: “We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed.”
People with smartphones that are powered by Android operating software were also invited to let handsets be part of a crowd-sourced network for detecting earthquakes. Smartphones possess small accelerometers that sense movement and can catch shaking caused by the earthquake.
Mar also said: “This means your Android phones can be mini Seismometer, joining millions of other Android phones out there to form the world’s largest earthquake detection network.”
A signal would be sent by the Android phones to the data centre during the Earthquake activity, the computer at the centre would quickly interpret the signals to understand whether a quake is happening or not.
The feature is going to start from California as the state possess extensive seismometer network in place. It is expected that soon enough, the alerts will be enabled in the other locations as well.