BBC: Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are investigating the possibility of using smartphones as pocket seismometers. Smartphones contain an accelerometer, part of the mechanism used to tilt the screen. That same accelerometer could also be used to sense tremors, and any data gathered could be sent over the cell network to a central server. However, the smartphone must also be “smart enough” to differentiate between its user’s movements and those of Earth’s surface. So the researchers are working on an algorithm to subtract human “noise.” Because smartphones are so ubiquitous, the researchers believe they could be used to gather a lot of detailed information. In addition, the smartphone itself could provide its user a few seconds’ warning that an earthquake is imminent by detecting the faster moving but less damaging P waves that precede the more destructive S waves.