Imagine the horror of being trapped under a rubble. You can't move, and the chances of you surviving depend on people finding you. Now, your odds are going to increase. The Wi-Fi hotspot on your phone may be able to act as an SOS beacon.

Engineer Amro Al-Akkad from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology in St. Augustin, Germany created an app that could insert a short SOS message into the name of a phone's Wi-Fi hotspot.

Al-Akkad and his team developed a "victim" and "seeker" app to allow one to locate the other. The app allows a victim to write a 27 character message and a seeker app can spot it from 100 meters away.

It's already been successfully used in disaster simulations in Norway.

[New Scientist Image via]