MyShake Helps Your Smartphone Double Up as a Quake Detector

February 15, 2016, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Ever wondered what a seismometer would be like?Ever thought it could be like a smartphone app?Can’t yet figure out what the deal is?

Let’s put this straight. Scientists from UC Berkeley have come up with a new app which could be a future savior of humankind from earthquake disasters; a mobile seismometer.

It doesn’t come in the form of a portable gadget. MyShake, as it’s being called now, is nothing, but a smartphone app that can record the earthquake statistics to help you come out of the wrath it can unleash.


Collection of these data would not require any add-ons. The inbuilt sensors and the GPS coordinates would do fine. Once an earthquake wave is spotted at the epicenter, MyShake will quickly send alerts to those inside the expected reach, including the magnitude of the earthquake. Users can trigger the alerts for earthquakes with magnitude as low as 5.

MyShake would also not depend on a single smartphone for the earthquake stats, but will have data collected from all the smartphones around the centre. These data, which will be sent to the central server, will then be used to analyze the earthquake and immediately send alerts to the app-users nearby.

The developers of the app say that a proper earthquake stat could be obtained if information is provided from at least 300 smartphones in a 60-mile-by-60-mile zone.

The benefit is not just handed over to individuals, but also to every connected infrastructure like trains, which can slow down instantly before being hit with the wave, and to industries and hospitals upon which evacuation can be carried out wisely.

Currently, the app is made available for Android devices only, and more than 5000 members have already fetched the app from the Play Store. Work is said to be progressing for an iOS version of the app.


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