Last week, Apple announced the investments and elaborated on the workings of its new Emergency SOS via satellite service. Today, the firm announced the availability of service to customers in the US and Canada to iPhone users.
Further, it has been added that the emergency service will be available in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK in December.
This function allows users to contact emergency services by text message even when they are not in range of a cellular or Wi-Fi network.
Apart from helping as an emergency service, when users are off the grid, they can open the Find My app and send their location via satellite to their friends and family to let them know they are safe.
Emergency SOS via satellite
iPhone users who are unable to contact emergency services due to a lack of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage will be presented with a simple interface that will guide them through the process of establishing a satellite connection.
The questionnaire and subsequent messages are delivered immediately by satellite to dispatchers that accept text messages or to relay centres staffed by Apple trained experts who can call for assistance on the user’s behalf. The user’s emergency contacts can also be notified.
This service also enables Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), or emergency services contact centres, to connect to even more users in emergency situations.
Users of Emergency SOS via satellite can send and receive messages in as little as 15 seconds in clear conditions, thanks to an Apple-developed text compression technology.
There is also an Emergency SOS by satellite demo that allows users to test satellite communication by connecting to a nearby real satellite.
Regarding this service, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, 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.
Our teams worked tirelessly to tackle a new set of technical challenges to bring this service to life, in addition to building a reliable on-the-ground infrastructure. Emergency SOS via satellite is a breakthrough service available only on the iPhone 14 lineup, and a new innovation that we hope will provide our customers some peace of mind.