affordable earthquake pre-warning
“Terra” is the companion that seamlessly blends into your home, providing you with information, guidance and reassurance, enhancing your sense of security. Thanks to “terra”, on the one hand, valuable time can be saved in emergency situations where every second counts. On the other hand, to avoid panic, “terra” will also inform you in case of non-destructive incoming earthquakes.
2018•team project•1st year MFA Umea, Sweden
Manuel Hess, Patrick Krassnitzer & Ferdinand Aichriedler
terra - video ( 1:21 )
user research - interviews from 7 different countries
sound & light design
Terra is mainly intended for poorer or secluded regions. To ensure affordability and to keep the production costs low, the product consists of three simple injection molded parts. Also, the inner parts are reduced to a minimum, to make the device as cost effective as possible.
To ensure accurate function even in emergency situations, where internet or telephone networks can easily be overloaded, the device receives warnings via radio signals from official seismographic institutions, ensuring a reliable information source. The power supply is realized through common AA batteries, keeping the device independent in the event of a power failure.
“Terra” has a dual speaker setup. The tweeter is aiming into the air and the speaker for lower frequencies to the wall. Making best use of sound properties, the higher pitched sounds can travel through the air, whereas deeper sounds spread through the walls, potentially informing neighbours or people in nearby rooms.
The instructive Packaging informs about the activation of the device and increases the awareness for earthquakes already by unpacking. It encourages the user to place it next to a save spot or an emergency exit and to create a game plan for the worst case. By making these decisions before the event, valuable seconds can be saved in an emergency.
how it works
Earthquakes generate two kinds of waves, moving through the earth’s crust. The non-destructive, higher velocity primary waves can be detected by seismographs up to 60 seconds before the destructive secondary waves arrive at the same spot. Primary waves can therefore be an early indicator if the incoming earthquake will be potentially destructive or not. This allows to warn people in advance.