Google is expanding its Android-based earthquake detection and warning system, filling gaps in places where there are few seismometers and no early warning systems. Starting today will also include the program that was launched in California last year available in Greece and New Zealand.
This also marks a new step for Google; it is the first time the company will handle everything from detecting the earthquake to alerting people. Android devices will first detect waves generated by earthquakes. Google then analyzes data from the phones and sends an early warning to users in the affected area. Users will receive the alerts automatically unless they unsubscribe from the service.
When Google embarked on this endeavor, it partnered with the United States Geological Survey and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to send earthquake alerts to Android users in California. This feature is now available in Oregon and will be expanded to Washington in May. Last year, Google started collecting earthquake data from phones. It then used that data to provide users with information when they searched their phones for “earthquake” or “earthquake near me.”
Google’s system works because every phone is already equipped with an accelerometer, which can detect movement. The accelerometer can also detect primary and secondary earthquake waves and acts almost like a ‘mini seismometer that joins millions of other Android phones to form the largest earthquake detection network in the world’. according to Google. Seismometers are devices that detect ground movements, such as earthquakes.
“It would be great if there were seismometer-based systems everywhere that could detect earthquakes,” said Marc Stogaitis, the lead Android software developer at Google. The edge last year. Due to cost and maintenance, he says, “that is not really practical and is unlikely to have global coverage.”
There are some limitations to Google’s system. People closest to the earthquake probably won’t be forewarned much in advance, as they will be the first to detect the earthquake. But their phones will help keep others informed, giving them crucial time to hide.
Android is it leading OS system for smartphones, so this service has a lot of room to grow. Ultimately, Google could develop an API based on its earthquake detection system that could have more far-reaching effects. Other systems could use the API to get people out of an elevator or open fire doors before they lose power, wrote Dieter Bohn The edge last year. That’s still quite a long way off, but it could make a huge difference in protecting people during future earthquakes.