Google is creating a global Android phone-powered earthquake alert system to give people timely information about earthquakes.
The tech giant published a blog post outlining that the public infrastructure to detect and alert people about an earthquake is costly to build and deploy, which is why it saw an opportunity to create its own system.
Google outlines that starting today, your Android phone can be part of the Android Earthquake Alerts System, wherever you live in the world.
This means that your Android phone can be a miniseismeter, joining millions of other Android phones to form the world’s largest earthquake detection network. All smartphones come with tiny accelerometers that can sense signals that indicate an earthquake might be happening.
“If the phone detects something that it thinks may be an earthquake, it sends a signal to our earthquake detection server, along with a coarse location of where the shaking occurred,” Google outlines.
The server then combines information from numerous phones to determine if an earthquake is happening. Google says that it’s going to use this technology to share an accurate view on the impacted area on Google Search.
When you look up “earthquake” or “earthquake near me,” you’ll find relevant information including resources on what to do after an earthquake.
The tech giant is starting with earthquake alerts in California since there’s already a seismometer-based system in place.
Google says that over the coming year, users can expect to see earthquake alerts in more countries using Android’s phone-based earthquake detection.
Image credit: Google