Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey are trying to figure out whether smartphones might be used to give earthquake warnings.
People standing above the epicenter of a large earthquake will feel the ground shaking before those on the periphery of the quake. The same can be said of their smartphones.
Ben Brooks with the USGS says if a computer was checking for simultaneous movement of a large number of smartphones, it could give people on the periphery of a quake a 10 or 20 second warning.
That's enough time to stop a surgeon from making a cut, he said.