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Fitness trackers are ubiquitous - I have two in my pocket right now (a Fitbit, and one built into my iPhone). They use acceleration to determine how people move, and are wonderfully precise. Also, they're often connected to the Internet, and are often precisely located in space (for instance, your
phone's GPS). It's likely that in most cities there are many such devices on every block, and at any given time there must be vast numbers sitting on tables or nightstands not moving.
It's conceivable that an earthquake could be accurately analyzed using only a few of these stationary devices, and each additional device can add more resolution. Further, it's possible that if monitored in real time we could get early detection of earthquakes. An alarm can then be generated and sent out over mobile phone networks.
Some tracking has been done
Like this, but using the actual acelerometer data, not just the awake/asleep flag. [Worldgineer, Feb 25 2016]
Baked for android [Toto Anders, Feb 25 2016]
Baked: Stanford/Caltech Quake-Catcher Network
Uses both devices' built-in accelerometers and special accelerometer devices that can be anchored to the floor [notexactly, Feb 25 2016]
MyShake: A smartphone seismic network for earthquake early warning and beyond
Research paper (full text) published two weeks ago. Not the same thing as MyQuake [notexactly, Feb 27 2016]
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||Seems reasonably logical and brilliant to me. +
||I suppose the more fitbits that are synchronised and squeaking (or whatever it is they do LOL) the more one needs to worry.
||Ooh, I see an experiment... If a million Chinese were to
jump, simultaneously, would a million fitbit-wearers
standing elsewhere be able to detect it?
||Is that a Fitbit in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
|| And if the latter, is the Fitbit quantifying how happy you are?
||And if you are Tindale I am so sorry I asked.
||And finally the idea: among those Fitbits not registering as though they are riding in someones pocket, it would be difficult to weed out the dryer in the next room, the train rumbling by, etc.
||Or would it... a vibration pattern in common between geographically discrete fitbits might not be so hard to identify. OK, bun.