A company is developing a early warning system for earthquakes for smartphones, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Zizmos system works off a sensor that users install on the outside wall their home. The sensor detects any shaking and sends the information to a cloud-based server which uses an algorithm to determine whether the shaking was the result of an earthquake or something else, such as a nearby accident. Then the system pings the user's smartphone with a warning. The whole process takes a couple of seconds, according to the company.
While the app may offer users only a few seconds of warning, that may be enough time to stop a surgery or slow down a train, the article said.