The Apple Watch no longer has the exclusive right to save the lives of its users in delicate situations. The iPhone is also now able to help, we think of the detection of car accidents and emergency SOS via satellite. A man in Alaska was able to contact the emergency services, despite the total absence of mobile network at the place where the incident occurred.
Emergency SOS via satellite rescues first Apple user
Since the launch of iOS 16.1 and the availability of iPhone 14, Apple customers who own the latest generation of iPhone can make Satellite Emergency SOS when they are unable to connect to their operator’s mobile network to call for help themselves.
This is exactly what happened in Alaska where a man who was riding a snowmobile stayed blocked for long hours in an extremely cold environment without human presence several kilometers around him.
Unsurprisingly, its mobile operator did not cover this area where there was no housing and where activity is very low. As soon as the Apple user wanted to dial 911, his iPhone offered to report the emergency via satellitesomething he did directly to get help.
After answering several questions, the information was sent to an intermediate Apple emergency center which transmitted emergency information.
Upon receipt of information, Alaska State emergency services and local search and rescue teams surrendered to the GPS coordinates communicated by the iPhone to the center of Apple which launched the alert.
The individual was recovered safely and no one was injured during the response. The place where it was located was very remote, just at the edge of the region where the satellite service could still operate. Noorvik and Kotzebue are approximately 69 degrees latitude and Apple warns that the satellite connection may not work in areas over 62 degrees latitude, such as northern sections of Canada and Alaska. We can say that the Apple customer had a lot of oddsbecause the satellite emergency service might not have answered!
Accuracy in GPS coordinates that impressed rescuers
Very often, when a smartphone or a connected watch transmits GPS coordinates to an emergency service, the position is very vaguea bit like when you order a VTC and you are located several streets away from where you are.
In the case of SOS via satellite, the GPS accuracy was spectacularrescuers were “impressed with the accuracy and completeness of the information included in the initial alert” issued by the SOS function via Satellite.
For the moment, the SOS via satellite is only available in North America, Apple plans to launch the feature in France, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany soon. If the iPhone 14s are ready, it is essential that the partner satellite network is also operational to cover the four countries mentioned above.
Apple will increase the list of eligible countries later, the goal is that the whole planet benefits from SOS via satellite with the iPhone!