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App Developers Seek To Connect Smartphones And Devices With Earthquake Early-Warning System

SAN JOSE (KCBS) — In the wake of last month's quake in Napa, app developers are trying to step in to help build out the state's under-funded earthquake early-warning system.

App Developers Seek To Connect Smartphones And Devices With Earthquake Early-Warning System

The good news is that California's earthquake early-warning system does work as was found out after the recent Napa quake. The not-so-good news, however, is that the 10-second warning currently only goes to a handful of people and agencies that have access to the data from UC Berkeley.

But problems like this, however, seem more like an opportunity to those in Silicon Valley as several tech companies are developing apps that could quickly send out alerts to smartphones or other smart devices in the home.

UC Berkeley Joshua Bloom built an earthquake early-warning box as a hobby for about $100 called ShakeAlert.

RELATED: UC Berkeley Professor Builds $100 Earthquake Early Warning System

"My hope is that knowing that a device like this could exist and people could buy it and they could just install it themselves as if they were putting in a Nest thermostat—as easy as that," he said, referring to a smart thermostat that learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled from your phone.

ShakeAlert, however, has struggled to find funding despite legislation supporting development. Bloom hopes his device will encourage people to invest in earthquake warning systems.

"People in the public will want to see this get funded," he said.

RELATED: KCBS In Depth: Earthquake Early-Warning Technology And Emergency Preparedness

So far, Google is the only company is the only tech company to receive approval from the U.S. Geological Survey to access their earthquake data feed and the company has been reported to be working on an app to send out earthquake alerts.

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