Two years ago, a programmer for Disney Animation Studios named Terence Worley wrote the code for an iPhone app named Quake Tech. Its purpose: to track and send signals of earthquakes with reliable data from the U.S geographical Surveys and other feeds.
This iTunes Store application now has a rating of 4.5/ 5 stars. Its advanced technology uses the embedded GPS to calculate the user’s distance from the epicenter of the earthquake. This information can then be shared on sites like Facebook and Twitter automatically from the app itself. This is done by syncing the app with the owner’s Facebook or Twitter account.
Since the devastating tsunami and earthquake less than a week ago, the Quake Watch app, which costs only 99 cents, has seen a high rise in sales figures. In fact, it has now reached the top of the News Apps in the US, UK, Canada and other countries as well. The same is true for other disaster notification applications as well. A free app called Disaster Alert, which is available for iPods, iPhones and iPads, normally sees about 3500 downloads every week. However, in the aftermath of the tsunami, these figures have already tripled, and are still increasing. The new Android version of the app also sees as many as 12,000 downloads a week.
Disaster Alert gives the user instant alerts to the latest natural calamities and hazards around the world. These include typhoons, volcano eruptions, hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes to name a few. The application is partly run by Pacific Disaster Center, which is a government funded organization that updates information on natural calamities and ways to prevent them.
The main advantage of these apps is that they run in real time. This means that people can get reports on their mobile devices up to half an hour before it is even broadcast on television or other media.