SeisMac Turns Your Mac Laptop Into a Seismograph

| Product News

Today’s east coast earthquake makes it timely to discover that your Mac portable can be a seismograph. Suitable Systems’ SeisMac is free software that harnesses your MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro’s built-in sensors to monitor vibrations, and displays them in real-time.

All Apple portables have, for the past five years, included the Sudden Motion Sensor or SMS. It’s a three-axis accelerometer that, when a fall or jolt is detected, can tell the Mac to disengage the hard disk’s drive heads before impact from, say, a fall. SeisMac can read the data from the SMS to show you some cool stuff. Turns out, the SMS is remarkably sensitive. The developer claims it’ll see your heartbeat if you lay your laptop on your chest!

Suitable Systems’ SeisMac 3.0

For even better accuracy, you can use Suitable Systems’ SeisMaCalibrate to calibrate your laptop’s Sudden Motion Sensors.


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Were you just sitting on that story, waiting for a big earthquake to happen somewhere that it doesn’t normally happen? Your timing was amazing.

Lee Dronick

I downloaded it, looks to be fun and useful.

Bryan Chaffin

Nico knew about the application and it seemed appropriate to point it out today. So it was definitely a reactionary piece, but one we thought we would be of interest (and possibly a help) to folks. smile



I could have used that yesterday. I work in Saxonburg, PA (north of Pittsburgh) and our building definitely shook. Weird. (Of course, they once said we’d never get tornados in western PA, too, and we get those all the time now.)

Lee Dronick

I could have used that yesterday. I work in Saxonburg, PA (north of Pittsburgh) and our building definitely shook.

I check the UCGS earthquake webpage every morning as part of my coffee ritual. Last week there was a 2.2 temblor near you, near Youngstown Ohio. See

Nicolas diPierro

The cool thing would be to set the laptop up to see if you can measure the aftershocks. These would be too faint for you or I to notice.

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