Android: earthquake detector has saved many lives in the Philippines
Launched in 2020, Android’s earthquake detector is already starting to prove its worth. As the Philippines was hit by a 6.7 magnitude earthquake, several users received the notification urging them to take cover quickly. The result: many lives were saved.
More and more, the devices of our daily life are redoubling their ingenuity to save our lives. Last year, Google deployed a feature on Android to detect earthquakes from the various sensors integrated into the smartphone. When the earth begins to shake, the user receives a notification telling him to take shelter. As the Mountain View firm says, “A few seconds of warning can make the difference by giving you time to let yourself fall, cover yourself and hold on before the shaking hits”.
It remained to be seen whether the technology was effective. If we are to believe the results obtained in the Philippines this weekend, it would seem so. This Saturday, the country’s capital suffered a magnitude 6.7 earthquake. Several residents have since shared screenshots of the notification they received. The latter also recalls the right reflexes to implement in the event of danger, like getting down on the ground and protecting yourself under a table.
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Android smartphones alert you in the event of an earthquake
When deploying the feature, Google explained that “All smartphones are equipped with tiny accelerometers capable of picking up signals indicating that an earthquake could occur. If the phone detects something it thinks is an earthquake, it sends a signal to our earthquake detection server, along with an approximate location of where the quake occurred. The server then combines information from many phones to determine if an earthquake is occurring ”.
After initial tests in California, the earthquake detector is now available in the whole of the United States, Greece, New Zealand, Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. “We are prioritizing launching seismic alerts in countries with higher seismic risks, and hope to launch in more and more countries in the coming year”, points out Google.