Google has added a new feature that notifies you of earthquakes lurking in your area, in addition to the transformation of your phone to a mini-seismometer.
Google’s head software engineer for Android, Marc Stogaitis, stated that it is quite expensive to implement a public infrastructure to alert people about an earthquake, as users can’t receive text alerts if they are not registered.
He further stated that an in-built early alert system in a phone’s OS would allow everyone to receive messages.
The Android Earthquake Alerts System comes in handy in earthquake impacted places of the world. You can participate in the program and turn your phone to a mini-seismometer, thus, forming a network of the world’s most significant earthquake detection alongside other phones.
Stogaitis also explained that your phone’s accelerometer is sensitive enough to detect P-wave. This initial less destructive wave comes out of an earthquake before the S-wave, which is lethal.
Your device will alert Google’s earthquake detection server with the approximate location information of where it happened. The server will afterward, collate data from other devices to ascertain if an earthquake is happening. This feature is similar to UC Berkeley’s 2016 app called MyShake.
If other Android phones around you report identical activity, the results of the collation will be displayed when you search for “earthquake near me” or “earthquake.”
The search results will also provide quick tips from trustworthy sources on what needs to effected after an earthquake.
In California, Google collaborated with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to deploy earthquake alerts.
Information gathered from more than 700 seismometers across several parts of the state is used to determine where an earthquake is taking place via the USGS ShakeAlert system.
Stogaitis finally added that the feature would be available to other states and regions over the coming years if they use Android-based detection.
The Emergency Location Service has a language option feature that shares your phone’s language setting to the local emergency authorities.
In case you’re in a foreign country, and you don’t understand their language, if you dial a local emergency number, the dispatcher can come better prepared with a translator to ensure help reaches you in time.