Apple have announced a new satellite-based emergency feature for iPhone 14 models across the UK, Ireland, France and Germany.
‘Emergency SOS’ uses satellite communications to send emergency alerts to a special Apple relay-centre from users who get into danger in areas outside of mobile coverage.
The European Emergency Number Association believes the move ‘will save lives and offer significant help to emergency services.’
When activated, a special easy-to-use emergency questions interface appears on the iPhone display helping the user to send key information to emergency dispatchers. In remote areas, text-based messages (such as SMS) can often be transmitted easier than voice calls.
Each emergency satellite message automatically incorporates the user’s location, altitude, battery level, Crash/Fall Detection status, and Medical ID if their iPhone has this enabled. Apple have also developed a special text compression algorithm to reduce the size of each message, reducing the transmission time between the Earth and Space to around 15 seconds.
iPhone 14 also comes loaded with a special Emergency SOS demo, allowing users to familiarise themselves with the new feature safely without alerting emergency services.
The service is now available for iOS 16.1, and is free for two years with the activation of a new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
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