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Suppose I have an array of cell phones, each having:

  • an accelerometer
  • a clock
  • a GPS receiver
  • Windows Phone 7 (WP7)

How hard would it be to write a program so that synchronizes the phones to a common clock (preferably a GPS clock)?

How hard would it be to write a program that starts recording accelerometer readings when it receives text message? I would want it to collect for a duration specified in the text message, and then forward the collected data (including location) back to an address specified in the text message.

How hard would it be to write a program (on a PC or a cell phone) that recieves the data, processes it to compute a "fix" (ellipse) on the source signal location, then sends that fix back to each cell phone as a text message?

Alternatively, could I record audio spectrograms instead of accelerometer readings?

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In general, the accuracy of cell phone-based accelerometers are pretty low. If you have a specific device in mind, people might be able to tell you if the accelerometer is going to be able to do what you want; WP7 is on relatively few devices afaik, so I assume that you already have one in mind. – Christopher Schmidt Oct 22 '10 at 1:20
I'm assuming WP7 devices will have accelerometer sensitivity similar to that of the iPhone. See this review The only reason for the WP7 requirement is that I'd like to code this in silverlight. – Kirk Kuykendall Oct 22 '10 at 1:58
I think you may be hamstrung by the WP7 platform - apparently it doesn't let you do things like "intercept a SMS" or "send an SMS without user interaction" – mwalker Oct 22 '10 at 19:22
Also, unless you already have your nice array of phones with accelerometers, I'd consider building a purpose-built device with the sensors and communications hardware you need (e.g. Arduino) – mwalker Oct 22 '10 at 19:23
@mwalker - Wow that is disappointing, I searched and found this post saying you could send without intervention with windows mobile, but not with WP7.… Still, his push notification suggestion might be feasible. I was hoping to avoid all hardware issues and focus on software: a social networking app for geogeeks. – Kirk Kuykendall Oct 22 '10 at 22:59
up vote 3 down vote accepted

As demonstrated by SeisMac the concept works, but the details of your phone OS and sensor sensitivity might limit the magnitude of the quake that you can detect.

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