Myshake is an android app developed by UC Berkeley to use mobile phone sensors as earthquake detection and measurement devices.
When the shaking fits the vibrational profile of an earthquake, the app sends the anonymous information to our central system that confirms the location and magnitude of the quake.
There are more than a billion smartphones currently in use. If everyone with an android mobile phone downloads the app and has it running then hundreds of extra data points can be collected. It will provide seismologists with a much larger and far broader data set.
Seismologists will be able to collect such a breadth of data that they will be able to understand what is happening in more detail. They can compare data from a diversity of points, whether on one side of a bridge or the other, from the inside of one building or the other and more.
It should help with computer models and provide more insight in how materials are affected by earthquakes.