Apple’s SOS feature is a life-saving technology that can automatically dial 911 and notify emergency contacts when it detects a car crash. This feature has recently proven its worth when it helped a Reddit user who was involved in a fatal car crash as a passenger.
The Reddit user, who goes by the name of IndependenceLong5230, shared his story on the r/iphone subreddit. He posted a screenshot of the messages that his iPhone sent to emergency services and his emergency contacts after the car crash. The messages included his location at the time of the crash and his updated location after he was taken to the hospital.
The user also wrote a caption to explain what happened: “Got into my first car crash as a passenger, and medics were surprised we walked away with only a few fractures. thank you to the Apple SOS feature for calling 911 as i was in a state where I couldn’t, and notifying my emergency contacts of the situation”.
The user received many comments from other Reddit users who expressed their sympathy and praised Apple for its SOS feature. Some users also shared their own experiences with the feature or asked questions about how it works.
How Apple’s SOS feature works
Apple’s SOS feature is available on all iPhone 14 models, as well as on some Apple Watch models. It is designed to detect severe car crashes, such as front-impact, side-impact, rear-end collisions, and rollovers, involving sedans, minivans, SUVs, pickup trucks, and other passenger cars.
When a severe car crash is detected, the iPhone or Apple Watch sounds an alarm and displays an alert. The alert warns that the user may have gotten in a car crash and that emergency services and emergency contacts will be alerted of the same. The user can cancel the alert if they are not in danger or if they want to call 911 manually.
If the user does not cancel the alert within 10 seconds, the iPhone or Apple Watch will automatically call 911 and send a text message with the user’s location and Medical ID information. The device will also send a text message to the user’s emergency contacts with the same information and update them if the user’s location changes.
The SOS feature uses cellular or Wi-Fi networks to connect to emergency services. However, if those networks are not available, the iPhone 14 models can also use satellite networks to send text messages to emergency services or relay centers. This feature is called Emergency SOS via Satellite and it was launched in November 2022 in the US and Canada. It will be available in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK in December 2022.
Why Apple’s SOS feature is important
Apple’s SOS feature is an important innovation that can save lives in emergency situations. It can provide faster and more accurate assistance to users who are involved in car crashes or other accidents. It can also reassure users’ friends and family of their whereabouts and condition.
Apple said that it took years to develop this technology and that it required custom-designed components, deeply integrated software, and reliable on-the-ground infrastructure. The company also said that it worked with public safety answering points (PSAPs) or emergency services call centers to ensure compatibility and efficiency.
Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Greg Joswiak said: “Some of the most popular places to travel are off the beaten path and simply lack cellular coverage. With Emergency SOS via satellite, the iPhone 14 lineup provides an indispensable tool that can get users the help they need while they are off the grid”.
Mark Ghilarducci, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services’ director, said: “Providing Emergency SOS via satellite is an important breakthrough that will save lives. The critical work being done by Apple to create innovative new solutions to support 911 providers and first responders is a huge step forward in protecting Californians and the broader public during an emergency situation”.