In the event of an earthquake, a warning system can significantly aid those in affected areas as well as emergency response personnel. A few-seconds warning can allow a person to seek protection from falling objects, exit enclosed spaces (such as elevators), or move away from windows. Additionally, automatic systems could engage to send a message regarding an individual’s location, shut down gas pipelines, or prevent a subway train from departing a station. Current earthquake warning systems collect information from seismographic measuring stations to both monitor current tectonic conditions and alert personnel when those conditions become unstable. Unfortunately, cost and other considerations limit the use and expansion of dedicated seismographic monitoring stations. However, an earthquake early-warning system that collects and aggregates motion data from many individual mobile devices is both scalable and implementable in a more-rapid fashion and at significantly reduced cost. Additionally, an earthquake early-warning system built on information collected from mobile devices could alert those very same mobile devices and other nearby devices or systems in the event of a detected earthquake.

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