Xiaomi, a consumer electronics and smart manufacturing company with smartphones and smart hardware connected by an IoT platform at its core, has announced the launch of its trial run of Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) feature for Indonesia. By switching on the feature, Xiaomi smartphone users in Indonesia can now be immediately notified of the seismic intensity and the location of the earthquake when it occurs nearby. This advanced earthquake warning plays a crucial role in preserving life-saving time for affected residents to make the most effective protective measures.
What is Earthquake Early Warning and how to activate the function?
Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) gives people seconds to tens of seconds warning time prior to the arrival of secondary waves, by leveraging the speed of electric waves that is naturally much faster than the speed of secondary waves. When the feature is being enabled on Xiaomi smartphones, once the earthquake monitoring agency detects an earthquake, it will synchronize the early warning information to the Xiaomi server through a dedicated channel. Xiaomi will then use the priority channel to push early warning information to users in the affected areas instantly.
Every notification from EEW will display the magnitude of a given earthquake, its ETA (estimated time of arrival), as well as the intensity that will be alarmed on the smartphone and delivered by countdown. The prerequisite for each smartphone to trigger an earthquake warning is the estimated intensity of the surrounding area, but the countdown and intensity displayed by people in different positions may be varied. Indonesia’s earthquake warning alarm will be issued only when the earthquake intensity reaches 4 or above, or MMI (Modified Mercalli Intensity) scale used by The Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics of the Republic of Indonesia (BMKG). Data connection is needed for this feature.
The EEW function is compatible with Xiaomi smartphones with MIUI 12, MIUI 12.5 and MIUI 13 in Indonesia. Xiaomi Indonesia has completed its beta testing phase for the supporting models before deciding to expand it to more users. The function is turned off by default and requires users’ authorization to be turned on out of the consideration of users’ privacy. The phone will ring a warning tone when the early warning occurs. Xiaomi recommends its users to listen to the warning tone to familiarize themselves beforehand. Xiaomi welcomes users to observe and give feedback to local MIUI community during the trial run. For more information on how to activate the function on your Xiaomi smartphone and its display, please click here.
How did the EEW function arrive on Xiaomi smartphones in Indonesia?
The EEW technology was developed by Institute of Care-life (ICL), China which has been doing the research since 2008. ICL has successfully sent out warnings of destructive earthquakes up to 65 times without any false or missing alerts so far in China.
In 2019, ICL and The Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics of the Republic of Indonesia (BMKG) conducted in-depth cooperation to introduce this technology to Indonesia. The technology was brought with the hope of helping more Indonesian people to receive earthquake warnings and mitigate the loss of life and property.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi has been cooperating with ICL in China for years, taking the lead in implementing ICL’s EEW function on Xiaomi smartphones. Xiaomi has become the world’s first smartphone brand with the EEW function on the operating system level. Currently, the EEW feature is functioning well in the Mainland China.
As ICL and BMKG brought the EEW function to Indonesia, Xiaomi also started the project to enable the function on its smartphones in the country. This makes Indonesia the second market in the world to receive the Earthquake Early Warnings on Xiaomi smartphones.
Rahmat Triyono, Head of the Center for Engineering Seismology, Potential Geophysics and Time Signs of the BMKG, said, “We welcome the next stage of the trial implementing an earthquake early warning system on Xiaomi smartphones. We will continue to evaluate the success and failure rate of this system in Indonesia. We hope that this feature will be useful for Indonesian citizens.”
Why did we carry out this project?
Wang Tun, Director of Institute of Care-life (ICL), China, said, “Indonesia is located on the most active seismic belt in the world – the Circum-Pacific seismic belt, which makes Indonesia a typical earthquake-prone country. Now that the EEW function is released on Xiaomi smartphones in Indonesia, it will allow more Indonesian people to receive earthquake early warnings more easily through their mobile devices and better serve the well-being of their lives and property.”
“Xiaomi appreciates the support from the Indonesian government for the project. Xiaomi Fans and consumers in Indonesia have always been very supportive of our brand, of which we are in great appreciation. Through this initiative, we hope that we can help Indonesian people and give back to the local community. This is one of the many CSR actions that we have undertaken in Indonesia as socially responsive cooperation,” said Alvin Tse, Country Director of Xiaomi Indonesia.
Zhu Xi, Technology Committee topic convener on Tech for Good, Xiaomi Corporation, said, “It is a great honor for Xiaomi to participate in this meaningful initiative. After working along with various stakeholders for more than one year, the MIUI Security Center team has obtained great trust and support from the Indonesian government. During the trial run period, we hope that Xiaomi users will turn on this function and engage in its user experience improvement through social media platforms and feedback channels.”
According to the introduction from Zhu Xi, Xiaomi always puts value on improving everyone’s quality of life through technology. As one of the key departments of Xiaomi, Technology Committee not only leads the company’s innovation in Hypercharge, foldable smartphone, liquid lens camera, and others alike, but also takes charge of increasing awareness of taking public preventative measures in areas of natural disasters and its related technological advancement and accessibility improvements.