A Few Hundred Smartphones Could Catch Earthquakes Early
Early warning systems can be the difference between life and death in earthquake-prone regions, but they're expensive. The U.S., Mexico and Japan have such systems. That leaves large swaths of Central and South America, Asia and the Caribbean unprotected.
Now, scientists think one solution could be hiding in our pockets: our cell phones. Smartphones employ the latest GPS technology. So scientists tested arrays of smartphones to determine if they could measure displacement caused by the earth's shaking - and signal the subtle beginnings of an earthquake.