App turns Android phones into a network that provides early warnings about earthquakes



How would you like to be part of a network of smartphone users that can help detect when an earthquake is about to take place? UC Berkley has released an app for Android devices called MyShake that uses the motion sensors on your phone to determine if the earth is about to move under your feet. The information provided by your phone is added to the data from others using the app. This way, enough information can be received to make an accurate forecast.

At the same time, researchers can use the data that you provide (along with the others who have installed the app), to further help them improve on their crowd-sourced early warning system. Your phone's accelerometer is the main sensor employed by the app, and algorithms have been devised to ignore false alarms.


A phone's accelerometer can now forecast a magnitude 5 earthquake 6.2 miles away from the epicenter. Stronger quakes register on an accelerometer an even longer distance away. If 60% of those with the app show an earthquake alert at the same time, the alarm is sent out that an earthquake is coming. And this early warning is important because knowing that a quake is coming even just 60 seconds ahead of time, is enough to take precautions that could save many lives. The app also shows you what to do in case you are caught in an earthquake.

And in case you were wondering, an iOS version of the app will eventually be available.

Download MyShake (Android)


source: UCBerkley via ArsTechnica

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8 Comments

1. Mfa901

Posts: 291; Member since: Jul 14, 2012

If it really works than it will be very useful in North East India where i live....

8. mmmanuuu

Posts: 403; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

This app needs access to Photos/Media stored in your phone !

2. BobLawblaw unregistered

Could be useful here in Christchurch New Zealand. Always getting quakes here since the big 2 that destroyed the city 5 years ago..

5. Trickzter

Posts: 83; Member since: Apr 21, 2015

Did you install and test this app? I'm in ChCh and as you would've felt it, we had a biggy a few hours ago... So wondering how the app went.

6. BobLawblaw unregistered

Didn't install the app. That was a big 5.7 a few hours ago. Thought the house was going to collapse here in Riccarton. Scary stuff..

3. aashis.sapkota

Posts: 85; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

Can be very useful here in Nepal: we are getting a lot of shaking these days.

4. legiloca

Posts: 1673; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

MyShake? Am I the only one who thought about it as a slang for masturbation? lol. And you guys just might wanna include the whole world and Not just your area or country. Earth is Earth, and your country is just a tiny part of it

7. TrackPhoneUser

Posts: 256; Member since: Oct 21, 2015

Sounds like botnet

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