Crazy new app turns your phone into an earthquake detector

Crazy new app turns your phone into an earthquake detector

MyShake is available on Android devices.

Here’s an interesting new app: It’s called MyShake, and it turns your smart phone into an earthquake detector.

MyShake, available on Android devices, uses the accelerometers on a smart phone to detect earthquakese and collect seismic data, and the app appears to be effective too: it can detect earthquakes a magnitude 5 or higher within 6.2 miles, according to a Digital Trends report.

The app was developed by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and is available for free. The app detects vibrations that would be caused by an earthquake and sends the information to a central system, which then confirms if it really is an earthquake and then determines the location and magnitude. It could be helpful to scientists, aiding them in finding earthquakes and warning people early.

If the app is successful, it could result in a worldwide seismic network.

It’s not just a useful scientific tool, though. MyShake aims to be an interesting app that can give uses information about recent earthquakes around the world, and information of historical earthquakes, according to the report.

The app essentially runs in the background of your phone and therefore doesn’t consume a lot of power, similar to how a fitness app would work. It doesn’t use the phone’s GPS, but rather the accelerometer, which is why its power usage is so low.

MyShake effectively spots earthquake vibrations and is able to distinguish them from non-earthquake vibrations. Unfortunately, MyShake only works when it is laid on a flat surface.

If it detects an earthquake, it sends a packet of data to the central server, and combines it with reports from other phones that have the app.

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