• Seismologists have found a great friend in a smartphone chip that collects real-time and accurate data of earthquakes with magnitude > 5. The chip was originally used to maintain the orientation of the screen, but studies show that the same chip can now transform your smartphone into a potential earthquake sensor. Famous as Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) accelerometer, the sensors measure the rate of acceleration of ground motion and vibrations of various structures including cars and buildings. MEMS also finds itself in laptops, where it senses various movements and speeds of games.


    Seismologists Antonino D'Alessandro and Giuseppe D'Anna, both working at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Italy, wanted to check the reliability of this sensor in detecting quake-created ground-motions, and for the very same purpose they tested the LIS331DLH MEMS accelerometer in an iPhone, and when its results were compared with those registered from the earthquake sensor EpiSensor ES-T force balance accelerometer, it was observed that the MEMS accelerometer was able to detect moderate to strong earthquake (magnitude greater than 5) when placed near the epicenter. Researchers are pretty confident that this technology would further evolve to sense quake with magnitude lesser than 5.

    They believe that it's just advantageous that most of the smartphone and laptops include MEMS technology, thus enabling a dramatic span in case a strong earthquake breaks the slumber. They're hopeful of creating a modern seismic network that channels real-time motion data to a set central location.
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  • Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran

    MemberSep 30, 2013

    Its one of the best way of application of sensor power in real time world.I had used smart tools app in andoid and used vibrometer which is quite similar to the working of big earthquake monitors.It was good but I didnt expect that the sensor in a phone could do a magic like this.The sensors power to sense a magnitude >5 is astonishing.
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  • prahu mac

    MemberOct 1, 2013

    i think this would be of great use especially in earth quake prone zones.
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