Apple's SOS feature saved a family's life in the Maui fires
Apple's Emergency SOS satellite connectivity feature, which debuted last November, has been instrumental in various dramatic, life-saving rescues, including helping lost hikers in L.A. County and stranded snowmobilers in Alaska.
Recently, the feature was pivotal in assisting a family struggling to escape wildfires in Maui.
How did a smartphone feature save a family from Maui fires?
The incident occurred when Michael J. Miraflor's relative and his family were on holiday in Maui's Lahaina area and found themselves surrounded by flames. Despite being in a central tourist location where one would expect cell service, the family likely lost connection as the fires consumed the infrastructure.
Using the iPhone 14's satellite-based Emergency SOS service, they were able to send a message for help with the desperate call, "PLEASE ADVISE! FIRE EVERYWHERE". It took approximately 34 minutes of communication between the iPhone 14, Apple's Emergency SOS dispatch center, and local authorities before the rescue was successfully concluded.
Worth every penny
Apple has invested a considerable amount into the Emergency SOS via satellite feature, around $450 million in the U.S. The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro models have the necessary hardware for this feature, and it's expected to be continued in the upcoming iPhone 15.
The SOS service has expanded globally to countries including the U.S., Canada, most of Western Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. International travelers can also benefit from this feature unless they purchased their phones in mainland China, Hong Kong, or MacaoAdvertisement