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?

  • 1
    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. Oct 22 '10 at 1:20
  • I'm assuming WP7 devices will have accelerometer sensitivity similar to that of the iPhone. See this review youtube.com/watch?v=YjutFgj0tLY&feature=related The only reason for the WP7 requirement is that I'd like to code this in silverlight. 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. nickharris.net/2010/09/… 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. Oct 22 '10 at 22:59

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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