Accelerometers used in smartphones have the capability to sense strong earthquakes, measuring more than 5 on the Richter scale, and those microelectromechanical system devices could be employed to identify where quake damage is the most severe, according to scientists at Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. "The rapid development of this technology will lead in the coming years to the development of high-sensitivity and low-noise digital MEMS sensors that may be replace the current seismic accelerometer used in seismology," write authors of the report Antonino D'Alessandro and Giuseppe D'Anna.

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