Earthquakes are a major global risk. The current earthquake early warning systems based on public seismic stations face challenges such as high cost, low density, high latency, no alert zone, and difficulty in predicting ground motions at the location of the user. This article pursues an alternative consumer‐based approach. An Internet of Things consumer device, called a “Qube,” was built for a cost below $100 and is about the size of a Rubik’s cube. The Qube successfully detected earthquakes and issued earthquake warnings through sounding the onboard alarm for on‐site warning and sending text messages to local subscribers for regional warning. The Qube is highly sensitive. During nine months of testing from September 2020 to May 2021, it detected all earthquakes over M 3.0 magnitude around Los Angeles, as well as nearby earthquakes down to M 2.3. The Qube uses a geophone for ground‐motion velocity sensing and captures earthquake waveforms consistent with a nearby broadband seismometer in the Southern California Seismic Network. By analyzing data of the earthquakes detected by the Qube, an empirical logarithmic formula that is used to estimate local earthquake magnitude based on detected ground‐motion amplitude in digital counts was developed. Although the Qube’s response in digital counts to ground‐motion velocity in μm/s has not been determined, the empirical formula between Qube’s output and local earthquake magnitude suggests the Qube’s consistency in ground‐motion measurement. The Qube has Wi‐Fi connectivity and is controllable via a smartphone or computer. The combination of low cost, high sensitivity, and integrated alarm function of the Qube is intended to enable a consumer‐based approach with the potential for mass adoption and use in dense networks, creating new opportunities for seismic network, earthquake warning, and educational applications.

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