We generally credit smartphones for making camera and audiovisual players irrelevant. But we often forget that every smartphone is also, by default, a GPS receiver. Quite correct, if not precise, latitude and longitude of the device is being instantaneously updated and displayed. This standard feature is embedded in every smartphone regardless being Android or iOS.
It has prompted Battalgazi Yildirim, a (literally young Turk) geophysicist from Stanford, developing a mobile-based IoT application named Zizmos for earthquake’s early warning system. Zizmos uses the smartphone’s tilting motion and compass to crowdsource data when tremors occur. The data are transmitted back to the cloud where Zizmos systems monitor whether a quake is imminent and alert users to find a safe place.
But Zizmos works only when the phone is online. Yet its developer is highly optimistic.
Ultimately a global earthquake early warning system could be established overnight, says Mr Yildirim, if smartphone makers embedded the technology directly into handsets, rather than relying on people to download an app. With millions more mobile handsets automatically sending tremor data, the accuracy of the system would increase.
“We strongly believe that the smartphone-based application is a very elegant solution. We also believe that it will [only be] a viable solution if one of largest phone manufacturers such as Samsung, Apple, Huawei or Google who has control on the Android operating systems [gets] behind it,” he says.
Vendors, operators and governments may join hands to materialize this frugal yet ingenious life-saving solution. Read more.
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