Basically our phone can warn about incoming earthquakes. A student from Berkerly is step away further with this concept.
The idea is simple, he will make your phone detect those incoming quakes (Seems impossible right?). Just recently the school released its developed android app, the name is “MyShake” this app simply detects telltale environment signs of tremors and then it combines the information gathered with the data from other user and interacts with the result.
For intents and intent purposes, if some it happens that you become part of crowdsourced station network on seismic. One can confirm that quake has just been detected by your device. That app can be a great help when there are not enough stations that will trigger an alert in the app.
MyShake app might give you heads-up in future. Once this software gets its reputation and gains public trust. The device could send warnings into nearby areas and provide countdown that will help user find safe place in a designated time frame.
And now Apple iOS has plans for it as well. But in conclusion, this app is much effective it more people are using it, so it can gather as much data in order to produce accurate result.