As technology rapidly permeates every layer of our daily lives, it seems that almost all aspects of our routines can be completed on a smartphone. In fact, ‘there’s an app for that’ has become a common saying in our society. Everything, from banking, to paying bills, to filing taxes, to even turning the lights in your house on and off, is available at the touch of a button. But, what if there was an application that had more than just a personal convenience, but could potentially save lives? That’s the aim of the developers of the app “MyShake” at the University of California, Berkeley.
[Pictured Above: Screenshots from the MyShake App]
Coming on the heels of the devastating earthquakes in Taiwan and Mexico, MyShake aims to assist Seismologists in recording seismic waves and predicting the severity and timeframe of earthquakes across the globe, using the individual motion sensors on Android phones. All smartphones have the ability to detect ground movement, due to built-in accelerometers used for detecting phone orientation during gaming. MyShake would harness this power and, while running quietly in the background, detect small tremors in the earth and send that data to Seismologists around the world, where it would be complied and used to predict the timing, direction of travel and severity of an earthquake. Richard Allen, leader of the app project, says that with a smartphone application, you can have access to millions of users, and the more data that can be collected, the faster it can be complied and sent out to alert inhabitants of an impending earthquake.
This application is not only an example of the amazing innovation of technology from simple personal convenience to potentially life-saving power, but also a beautiful example of the power of global technology. This app may have been developed in California, but it has the ability to save lives all over the world.