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'MyShake' App Turns Your Smartphone into Earthquake Detector

posted Feb 21, 2016, 1:38 AM by jeffery jim

A friend of mine showed this particular smartphone application to me and believes this is one of the latest innovation which could save lifes. Indeed a very novel application. Being a technologist, it is hard to comprehend how if this technology could be accurate and useful, aside from being a warning or indicator apps to a beacon (which capable to measure using gyroscope and 3d accelerometer, then broadcast it out).

  • First, seismic stations can only triangulate the epicenter and depth of an earthquake. Bear in mind, there is no accurate reading (to the nearest 20m of an epicenter)
  • Second, everyone can prank by simulating earthquake movement (shake/jolt it hard at t=0.2 and slow a bit at t=1, then gradually halt under 5 second) and jam the overall central processing system.
  • Third, triangulation will give better reading and accurate epicenter if only all participating phones are stationed at the same height and sway in the similar frequency. This start to complicate things as motion reduction or correlation should be taken into consideration.
  • Fourth, when reading are taken from phone in the process of motion recovery, the axis of direction is flawed.

Unless these issues are mathematically and physically addressed, we have a good chance but what is the point if seismic applications we installed in our smartphone(s) are wired to seismic stations or USGS and give much accurate reading and short period of time?

There is no way of detecting or predicting an earthquake (to the exact week of occurrence). Every area have their own local fault lines, and geological, geotechnical, soil taxonomy which will affect the possible magnitude. There are so many parameters to be considered which make correlation impossible in split second.

All i can say, it is a novelty but somehow it is an opening to good discovery.

Would you broadcast or ping data and increase your battery consumption running this app on background? No jose, no. Save your your battery life span when you start to hear rescue team sending you emergency ping (by hammer or tapping) and respond back with high pitch sound apps.