The smartphone app is capable of providing an alert between a few seconds to one minute, before a tremor hits, depending on where an individual is using it is in relation to the epicenter, the scientists at the World Science Forum in Rio de Janeiro said.
The app is based on technology used in an early warning system prepared by a team under the Director of the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, Professor Richard Allen, News24 reports.
The app captures the initial energy from the tremor, the so-called “P wave” or primary wave, which rarely itself causes damage.
According to the report, the technology uses algorithms to detect when a quake is starting and determine its strength and location and when it is likely to reach its zenith and also issues alert to the residents in potentially affected areas.
The algorithms will use data from regional networks monitoring seismic networks, the report added.
However, those located at the actual epicentre of the quake will not receive the early warning on their cellphones.
The app uses various smartphone functions, such as accelerometers and gyroscopes, to determine movement, as well as GPS and Wi-Fi localization functions as a magnetometer to indicate direction.