Invention: Distributed Cellular Seismography

There is a very good chance that you’re not moving right now.  There’s a very good chance that you’re sitting down reading this, which means there’s a nearly 100% chance that your phone is stock still, relative to your surroundings.

So what?

Well, it’s like this, sparky, modern phones have accelerometers in them, and if they’re just lying there, the accelerometer should be reporting 0,0,0.  If we were to record your motions over longish (months) periods of time, we’d be able to determine when motion was “normal”, and when it was out of character. 

If your phone suddenly reported that it was bouncing up and down, that might be interesting, if it were out of character.

More importantly, if we had the same information about large populations, we’d be able to see seismic events in real time.  Using an application like Cygnipede, we’d be able to very quickly determine all sorts of interesting information about earthquakes.

A server (CygNet)-side daemon could monitor large numbers of points and take appropriate action if large numbers of simultaneous and seismically-similar events started to show up.

With appropriate permissions, the end-user app could start recording sound, video, etc. to help post-event analysis, while also sending a “’So-an-so is at this location (LAT,LON,ALT)” message to a possible-victim tracking service.

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