Scientists at Nokia have developed software that transforms a cellphone into a signal receiver and warns the user of an approaching lightning strike.
A lightning bolt is an electric current that emits radio waves, with each bolt producing frequencies between 10 hertz and five gigahertz. However, the distribution of these signals depends on how far away the lightning is.
According to the scientists, the multiple receivers in a phone, such as Bluetooth, FM, tri-band GSM, Wi-Fi and RFID, can be tuned to pick up these signals. The software then interprets them, works out the distance to the lightning, and tells the user if the strikes are getting closer.
Researchers say as lightning can pose a major risk to people taking part in outdoor pursuits, such as golfing; the software could become an indispensable safety device for outdoor enthusiasts.
As of now, Nokia has filed a patent in the US for the software, reports the New Scientist.
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