Google is considering including a new feature directly on Android: sending an earthquake alert.
Google may soon include earthquake alerts directly on Android. This new feature could first be deployed in California and then all over the world if it proves to be effective.
Google is considering including a new feature directly on Android: sending an earthquake alert. The 9to5Google site indicates indeed that the Mountain View company is working on the thing by taking for base the ShakeAlert application developed by the American authorities.
The idea would be to send a notification to all users present in a seismic zone as soon as the earthquake starts to shake. People several kilometres from the epicentre can be notified before the shock wave hits them, as they cannot predict earthquakes.
A few seconds to get to safety
As the U.S. Institute of Geological Survey states in its application, having a few seconds notice can help keep you safe and save your life. This is exactly what Google is looking for with this application that would send instant notifications. The first would be a notification warning of an imminent earthquake and its power. The second would warn of an earthquake that has already happened and its distance from you.
Note that for ShakeAlert, the U.S. Institute for Geological Surveys is using detectors across the country. 9to5Google specifies that this application would be intended only for California initially, but that it could be extended in the future. Similarly, it would be directly included in Google's services on Android and would not require any installation.
This type of application is already used by many people in California, but Google could make it mandatory. This is not the first time such a system has been developed. Facebook has already been sending security alerts to its users for several years now, for example to warn them of an attack and ask them if they are safe. Some US states, such as Hawaii, also send SMS notifications to its residents in the event of a tsunami or foreign attack.