Apple expands Emergency SOS via Satellite to iPhone 14 users in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK
Last month, Apple introduced support for Emergency SOS via Satellite for users with an iPhone 14 in the U.S. The life-saving feature, is now available for people in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK.
Apple's Emergency SOS via Satellite is now available in parts of Europe
To recall, the Cupertino company demoed the option during the iOS 16 launch keynote. iPhone users can press the power button 5 times quickly, or long press the power and volume buttons, to reach out to emergency services, if they are not able to dial 112 or 999. This, however, requires a working mobile network r Wi-Fi connection.
But this feature cannot be of help, if a user is lost, trapped, injured, etc., in a remote location without a network connection. This is where Apple's Emergency SOS via Satellite can be invaluable.
Due to hardware requirements, this feature is available exclusively on the iPhone 14 lineup, i.e., the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The company is providing the service to all owners of an eligible device for free, but only for the first 2 years. Apple is yet to reveal more details about how it will transition into a premium subscription.
A user can open the Emergency SOS feature on their device, and point the phone at the sky, at the direction of a partner satellite that is passing by. It then asks the user some vital questions about the nature of the emergency, their medical condition, etc., and the user can tap the answers. The information (including your GPS location) is transmitted to an emergency relay team, via text message. You can read the official announcement for more details.
If you have an iPhone 14 and want to see how the feature works without actually calling rescue services, you can try a demo of it. Go to the Settings app > Emergency SOS section, and tap on the Demo, which guides you through the process. It also lets you experience a simulated conversation with an emergency response center, it will teach you what information you will need to provide, e.g. the kind of emergency that you find yourself in, your location, injury or medical condition (if any), etc.
Apple's Emergency SOS via Satellite has already saved a few lives around the World. A few weeks ago, a person who was traveling on a snowmobile in Alaska, used the feature on his iPhone to seek help from emergency services, which relayed the message through an Apple Emergency Response Center, who then notified the authorities. The troopers who rescued him were impressed with the accuracy of the information provided by the alert.
Yesterday, a car in which two people who were traveling through the Angeles National Forest, went off the road and the side of a mountain. The injured couple, used the Emergency SOS service on their iPhone, and the message was relayed to the LA County's Search and Rescue team in Montrose. The victims of the accident were rescued via a helicopter, thanks to the emergency SOS option on their iPhones. Interestingly, the feature had worked even though the phone had been badly damaged in the crash.
The iPhone 14 also comes with crash detection, which is capable of detecting an impact of a car crash. When it detects a crash, it calls emergency services and notifies your emergency contact and sends them your location information to speed up the rescue process.
It's amazing what technology can do, isn't it? Hopefully, other mobile manufacturers can bring this feature to their products, to help save more lives.