Google turns Androids into earthquake sensors

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on August 11, 2020 - Duration: 01:31s

Google turns Androids into earthquake sensors

Google’s Android phones on Tuesday started detecting earthquakes around the world to provide data that could eventually give billions of users precious seconds of warning of a tremor nearby, with an alerting feature first rolling out in California.

Lisa Bernhard produced this report.


Google turns Androids into earthquake sensors

Google is aiming to add a new feature to its smartphones, and this one could save lives.

Android phones on Tuesday began detecting earthquakes around the world to provide data that could eventually give billions of users precious seconds of warning.

It works through what are called accelerometers, tiny built-in sensors that measure direction and force of motion that are mainly used to determine whether a phone is in landscape or portrait mode.

But they can also sense earthquakes when the phone is plugged in and stationary.

Alerts would trigger for earthquakes magnitude 4.5 or greater and give some users up to a minute of notice.

Marc Stogaitis is principle software engineer at Google.

“As an earthquake starts to propagate, the phones that are close to the epicenter feel shaking and send a signal to the Google earthquake detection server along with a course location of where shaking is happening.

We then aggregate data from many phones to determine if an earthquake is happening and how big it is." People expected to experience strong shaking would hear a loud dinging and see a full-screen warning to drop, cover and hold on.

Those further away would get a smaller notification designed not to stir them from their sleep.

Google – which itself is located near California’s San Andreas fault – expects to issue its first alerts next year, beginning in California.

You are here

💡 One News Page Knowledge: Other News Mentions


American technology company
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Microsoft’s Bing search engine has beaten out competitor DuckDuckGo and will now be offered as an option for..
10 minutes ago • The Verge
Yesterday, we bought the new Google Chromecast, even though it hasn’t yet been announced. Weirdly, it didn’t come with Google Stadia — of the 12 streaming..
1 hour ago • The Verge
Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is extending its policy that lets free Google Meet users host calls for longer than 60 minutes. The..
1 hour ago • The Verge
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

Sonos has filed another patent lawsuit against Google, alleging that the search giant is infringing five wireless..
4 hours ago • The Verge
Image: Google

Fall hardware season is in full swing, and tomorrow, Google will be showing off some new products at its “Launch Night In” event...
8 hours ago • The Verge


State in the western United States
The governor of California has signed a new "Kobe Bryant Law" -- which makes it a crime for first responders to take unauthorized pictures of a dead person at an..
Credit: - Published 4 hours ago

California firefighters battled destructive new wildfires in wine country north of San Francisco.
Credit: - Published 6 hours ago

California fire crews battled two ferocious blazes, including one in wine country, that destroyed homes and forced at least 70,000 people to flee
Credit: - Published 7 hours ago

San Andreas Fault

A continental transform fault through California between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate

Related videos from verified sources

Google’s Turning Androids into Earthquake Detectors 01:39
Video credit: Veuer - Published on August 12, 2020 

You might like