Due to lack of a proper alert system, many people die every year due to the devastation of earthquake. But now with the help of billions of Android phones in the world, Google is creating the world’s largest Earthquake alert system. Google is launching the first part of this system today. If you make your Android phone part in this system then Google will create this system using some accelerometer data of your Android phone.
Apart from accelerometer data, this system will depend on many other data such as car crash detection, emergency location service and more. Marc Stogaitis, a Principal Software Engineer at Android, says that if Seismometer is used in the Earthquake detection system, it is the best but at the moment it is not practical because first, Seismometer is a very expensive instrument and second, if Seismometer is installed in all the fixed places of the world, then it has to be maintained and operated continuously. Hence it is not the optimal solution. So, after much research, we concluded that we can find an optimal and possible method and we found that we are using the accelerometer and many other data available on Android phones with some set of algorithms to create this system.
So, this is all about the first stage where Google is going to take some sort of data from user’s phone to start operating this system. In the second stage, Google will show localized results to people on Google search through this system. After this, in the third and last stage, when Google is fully confident on this system, then it will send an alert on the phone of those people whose area does not have an earthquake-based warning system.
Stogaitis says that to build this system, Google is also taking a coarse of location information. Through all these information and algorithms, Google will use Android phones as a Mini Seismometer. Stogaitis also said that the Android phone is sensitive enough to detect Earthquake Wave. Those of you who don’t know, there are two types of wave in Earthquake, P wave and S wave. P wave is the primary wave which comes first and is very fast but not very effective, on the other hand the S wave is slow but is more effective. It is the S wave which causes the damage.
This system being created by Google will not help people living close to the epicentre, but those people who are staying at some distance from the epicentre will get some small amount of time nearly in between 30 to 45 seconds to be on alert from the S wave. It is said that the interval between P wave and S wave is 30 to 45 seconds on average.
There are many seismologists working with Google to build this Earthquake system and one of these seismologists is Richard Allen, who has given years of his career to Earthquake Alert Systems and also qualified in the design of Shake Alert System. Now Richard will give his qualification in this Android Powered Earthquake alert system of Google. This Android Powered Earthquake alert system will give the user many types of alerts from low to high Earthquake.
For now, this alert system is dependent on Android device, but if Google releases the API of this system in the coming years, then obviously the Apple devices will also take part in it.
In a report published by The Verge, it has been told that Google will roll out this system through Google Mobile Services so that the user does not have to update the entire operating system of their phone to be enrolled in this system. Many Android phones can participate in this system and currently this system is being rolled out in California. In the coming days, this system will be rolled out in other countries as well. However, China will not be able to be a part of this system; China’s Android phones do not use Google service.