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Google Will Now Use Android Phones To Detect Earthquakes

by Sai Vardhan

Google Will Now Use Android Phones To Detect Earthquakes

May 11, 2021

Technology has evolved too far and now it can do things beyond our expectations. Some of the live examples are underwater cable lines to detect an earthquake, smartwatches which have saved many people living in drastic situations and many more stories to record. The list has a new addition; Google's new feature that will now alert people of New Zealand and Greece about the earthquakes which are about to strike.

Google unveiled its new feature that will help to save the lives of many in earthquake-prone areas. This new feature is being built into the beloved android user’s smartphones of new Zealand and Greece who will directly receive warnings about any damaging earthquake that is about to strike and you might wonder that’s obvious because we regularly detect them by seismometers, but now you can detect them using your smartphones itself.

google-earthquake-scoolbuzz
Google's new feature that will now alert people of New Zealand and Greece about the earthquakes which are about to strike.

Causes of Earthquakes in these Countries

Earthquakes are a quite common threat that both countries are dealing with every day unexpectedly but in new Zealand due to the pacific plate colliding with the Australian plate and due to this regular grinding, it is causing a large earthquake. This includes the 2011 shock in Christchurch which killed more than 200 and no wonder but Greece faces a lot of this usual threat because it’s spread across three tectonic plates which at least cause Earthquake once a year.

Traditional Warning Method

Despite the problems both the countries are facing, neither of them have a valuable warning system that makes a difference to people. But Google saw this as an opportunity and with a group of people created a system that warns about this scatter.

That built a chance to make a difference, says Marc Stogaitis, the project’s lead engineer at Google and also expressed two major concerns that they want to decipher, detecting earthquakes as rapidly as possible and casting alerts as soon as possible.”

you might wonder can we rely on such a system and as per google yes you can relay cause it uses the speed of light that travels fast through fibre optic cables of the internet that are played underground rather than the regular earth wave cables. unlike the Traditional warning system which uses seismometers to detect the size, the magnitude of Earthquake which sends out a warning via smartphone or loudspeaker to residents.

Even though the traditional methods take years to build and develop but they are still robust and one such example is shaking alert which took 15 long years to built and was deployed in California, Oregon, and Washington state but as far the expenses go it cost $60 million to build and needs more than $30 million annually to operate.

Google earthquake
These smartphones are equipped with an accelerometer which helps monitor movement and other useful stuff can also be programmed to act as rudimentary seismometers which can detect the distinctive shaking caused by the pressure and heat waves of an earthquake can be possible for modern smartphones.

Google's Warning System

As we understand, this new method of sending out such warnings about earthquake avoiding such time and amount will be a plus point to google. if it is set out to be accurate it could definitely at least help people hide, takes cover and save themselves.

As we know our smartphones are equipped with an accelerometer which helps monitor movement and other useful stuff can also be programmed to act as rudimentary seismometers which can detect the distinctive shaking caused by the pressure and heat waves of an earthquake can be possible for modern smartphones. So if google can include this into more than 2 billion Android phones through a system update it can be a huge business possibility for google as explained.

Nevertheless, this kind of warning system was already built into us market which was available in google search itself but it reflected false alarms sometimes. Even a slight sound of a thunderstorm cause the phone to report an alert and was considered Earthquake, but google says it’s ready now.

while we know that the traditional procedure to send an earthquake signal requires four seismic stations and more than 100 phones to send out the word and as what google believes is that they can send out and detect signals with location also via the app through a central server.

Results so far

Android phones instantly have detected more than 1000 earthquakes worldwide and it has proved by far in terms of speed and accuracy compared to other warning systems. while the phones have also detected a 7 magnitude earthquake and more too. While several from new Zealand were originated offshore it was hard to detect shortly. But still, the system has to develop a ton wider and more accurate to detect and warn from uptown to downtown.

So in conclusion, we can put it this way as of now given google’s solution is less expensive and can also be much efficient if compared to the traditional methods. Like explained there is room for a lot of advancement too.

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