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CrowdShake: Using smartphones to predict quakes and save lives




A bulldozer begins to tear down a section of the Santa Monica Freeway Jan. 19, 1994 that collapsed during the Northridge earthquake. Commuters were urged to leave for work two hours earlier due to the 300 foot section of the road that was closed.
A bulldozer begins to tear down a section of the Santa Monica Freeway Jan. 19, 1994 that collapsed during the Northridge earthquake. Commuters were urged to leave for work two hours earlier due to the 300 foot section of the road that was closed.
Tim Clary/AFP/Getty Images

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You can prepare yourself for a disaster, but what if your phone could help predict the next big one?

Instead of relying only on expensive earthquake sensors, researchers at CalTech have developed an app that can track vibrations in your phone. That info is sent to an early warning system, which could give whole cities the alert to take cover.

To explain more is Matthew Faulkner, a developer of the app CrowdShake. He's also a computer science grad student at Cal Tech.

CrowdShake from Daniel Mahoney on Vimeo.