MyShake App Could Save Us From Earthquakes
An innovative new smartphone app aims to revolutionize the way we predict earthquakes. The epic app MyShake uses the accelerometers in cellphones to help detect unusual seismic activity. The app was developed by top researchers at UC Berkeley’s Seismological Laboratory. The goal of this app is to give people a more advanced warning system by supplying more information to seismic research centers.
MyShake Aims to Save Lives
The app is designed to give researchers a comprehensive stream of data from around the world to help detect earthquakes. MyShake taps into the accelerometers in smartphones to give seismic centers crucial data. The app tracks the frequency & amplitude of how a phone shakes to alert researchers if an earthquake is happening. The info is streamed from the phone’s location into the hands of Berkley researchers. The app has the power to distinguish between a real earthquake & someone just dropping their smartphone. It can also analyze data within a 6-mile radius from an earthquake epicenter. In tests using historical data the app’s software was able to identify earthquakes with an impressive 93% accuracy.
MyShake shook up Apple’s app store when it was released this February. The app is the creation of Richard Allen, the lead director of UC Berkeley’s Seismological Laboratory & chair of the earth & planetary science department. Allen has been furiously working on this project since 2012 when he was inspired by the vast improvements of smartphone accelerometers. He toiled for years to make his dream a reality. Finally all his hard work has come to fruition & he has received international attention for this groundbreaking app. In February he received a $1 million grant from the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation. He also got $200,000 in funding from Deutsche Telekom to fine tune this possibly life saving app.
Allen’s vision for MyShake is nothing short of an international enlightenment on the inner workings of earthquakes. If millions of people from around the world started using the app the cumulative data from all those users would reinvent the way we prepare for earthquakes. It will also help protect citizens in countries like Nepal who have extremely few seismic monitoring stations & millions of smartphones. This new flood of data will help us better understand how earthquakes work & has the possibility to save countless lives. The only thing necessary to tap into this fountain of knowledge is more people using the app. The professor of engineering seismology at the California Institute of Technology Thomas Heaton stated that once public use of the app generates a constant stream of data the results will be “revolutionary”.
Whether or not this app helps change the world is in our hands. Like it or not, earthquakes have the potential to affect all of us. It’s easy to get sucked into our own daily problems & forget about the ravaging power of earthquakes until it’s too late. Luckily now we have the technology to give us accurate seismic readings in the palm of our hands. Hopefully more people will help supply seismic data instead of getting lost on their social media accounts.