When an earthquake or tsunami hits, even a few seconds warning can be the difference between life and death. A new home device is aimed at providing personalized warnings for individuals. The Brinco is a networked seismic warning and monitoring system with an accompanying mobile app.
The Brinco connects to an international seismograph network and is able to provide users with voice, flashing light and alarm alerts when an earthquake or tsunami is detected in the local area. When the network detects the initial first wave of an earthquake that is relatively nondestructive, the information is relayed to the Brinco and an alert delivered.
From the initial detected wave, it is possible to calculate when the second, more destructive slow waves will hit and, thus, the warnings can be tailored. This is made possible because it is possible to relay information over the internet in a faster time than there typically is between the two sets of waves.
If only a slight tremor is detected, a yellow light is shown with the voice message, "Slight tremor expected in xx seconds. No damage expected." A dangerous quake triggers a red light accompanied by the voice message, "Earthquake expected in xx seconds. Take cover or go outside now." Tsunamis are also detected, with Brinco providing warnings of as much an hour or more.
The accompanying mobile app for iOS and Android allows users to receive alerts even when they're away from home. It also allows them to view earthquake activity at home.
As well as being a warning system, each Brinco is also a seismograph. The devices collect seismic information for their location and send it to national and regional seismic networks around the world, as well as the Brinco network itself. The more Brincos that are deployed, the more accurate and powerful the Brinco network will become.
The Brinco has been in development for two years and an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign is now underway for the device. At the time of writing, individuals who pledge from US$150 can receive a Brinco unit. They are expected to begin shipping in July 2016.
The US Geological Survey, incidentally, has also created an earthquake-warning app of its own. It utilizes members' networked smartphones, using their GPS receivers to detect ground movements associated with earthquakes.
The video below is the Indiegogo pitch for the Brinco.