November 15, 2022
Emergency SOS via satellite is available today on the iPhone 14 lineup in the US and Canada
iPhone 14 users can now call emergency services when cellular and Wi-Fi coverage is unavailable; Service extends to France, Germany, Ireland and the UK in December
Cupertino, California Apple today announced that its emergency SOS satellite service is now available to customers in the United States and Canada. The innovative technology, which is available on all iPhone 14 models, allows users to send messages to emergency services while outside cellular coverage and Wi-Fi. Additionally, if users want to reassure friends and family of their whereabouts while traveling off the grid, they can now open the Find My app and share their location via satellite. The Emergency SOS satellite service is available in the United States and Canada from today, November 15, and will arrive in France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom in December.
“Some of the most popular places to travel are places that are out of the ordinary and simply lack cellular coverage. With Emergency SOS via satellite, the iPhone 14 lineup provides an indispensable tool that can provide users with the assistance they need while they are out of the network,” said Greg Joswiak, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple Our teams have worked tirelessly to tackle a new set of technical challenges to bring this service to life, as well as build a reliable infrastructure on the ground. Emergency SOS via satellite is an advanced service only available on the iPhone 14 lineup, and a new innovation that we hope will provide our customers with some peace of mind.”
Each model in the iPhone 14 lineup — iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max — can connect directly to satellite through a combination of specially designed components and highly integrated software. Emergency SOS Satellite builds on existing features vital to iPhone users, including Emergency SOS, Medical ID, Emergency Contacts, and Share Find My Location, providing the ability to connect to a satellite for a more 360-degree approach to share critical information with emergency Services, family and friends. This game-changing service allows Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) – or emergency services call centers – to contact more users in an emergency, and requires no additional software or protocols to enable communications. Users will be connected directly to emergency services equipped to receive text messages, or to relay centers with Apple-trained emergency professionals who are willing to contact PSAPs who cannot receive text messages on the user’s behalf.
“Providing an emergency SOS via satellite is an important achievement that will save lives. The critical work that Apple is doing to create innovative new solutions to support 911 providers and first responders is a huge step forward,” said Mark Gilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. In protecting Californians and the broader public during an emergency.
How does Emergency SOS work via satellite?
iPhone can quickly and easily call emergency services if a user needs help, even if they are unable to call 911. With Emergency SOS via satellite — introduced with the iPhone 14 lineup — if a user is unable to reach emergency services because of no There is cellular coverage or Wi-Fi available, an easy to use interface appears on the iPhone for user assistance in using the satellite connection. A short questionnaire appears to help the user answer vital questions with a few simple clicks, which is sent to the senders in the initial message, to ensure that they can quickly understand the user’s situation and location. Apple worked closely with experts to review standard questions and protocols to determine the most common reasons for calling emergency services.
After the survey, the intuitive interface directs the user where to point their iPhone to connect and send the initial message. This message includes the user’s responses to the survey; location, including altitude; iPhone battery level; and Medical ID, if enabled. The questionnaire and follow-up messages are transmitted directly via satellite to senders who accept text messages, or to relay centers staffed by trained Apple professionals who can request assistance on the user’s behalf. The text can also be shared with the user’s emergency contacts to keep them informed.1
“We dedicate our lives to helping those in need, but there are inevitably people who are unable to contact a dispatcher. Because this service does not require additional technology to PSAPs, and because Apple has implemented a regional call center model, this service does not require a dispatcher,” said Jennifer Kirkland, ENP, regional 911 call center manager in Grand Junction. The migration that the 911 operator knows, we can expect a smooth rollout, both for PSAPs that accept text messages, and for those that are still voice-only.”
Satellites move quickly, have low bandwidth, and are thousands of miles from Earth, so it can take up to a few minutes for an SMS to arrive. Apple designed and built custom hardware and software that allows iPhone 14 to communicate on the unique frequencies of satellite without a bulky antenna. A text compression algorithm has also been developed to reduce the average message size by 300 percent, making the experience as fast as possible. With Emergency SOS via satellite, users can send and receive messages in less than 15 seconds in clear conditions.2 Using the Emergency SOS software integrated via the satellite demo, users can test satellite communication on their iPhone by connecting to a real satellite in range without calling emergency services, allowing them to experience the process and become familiar with the service.
Emergency SOS via satellite will not only be useful for those who live in rural areas without cellular coverage, but also for those who find themselves in the path of a natural disaster that wipes out mobile phone networks. “Members in affected communities will be allowed to call 911 and get help, and that’s our mission,” said Laurene Anderson, NENA: 9-1-1 Association President and Charlotte County, Florida E911 Director. Awareness and training will be key to the smooth adoption of this service. What Apple is doing to spread the word among dispatchers, and letting the community practice with a pilot mode of not calling 911, will help everyone know what to do when an emergency strikes. “
For users who are out of the network but not facing any emergency, this advanced technology also enables them to share their location via satellite using Find My. In the Find My app, users can open the Me tab, swipe up to see my satellite location, and tap Submit my location. The satellite connection on the iPhone 14 lineup also works with other security features available on the iPhone and Apple Watch, including crash detection and fall detection.3
- Emergency SOS via satellite and Find My via satellite are available today at we And the Canadaand will be available in FranceAnd the GermanyAnd the Irelandand the United kingdom in December. Service will be included for free for two years starting from the time you activate your iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.4
- Emergency SOS Satellite and Find My Satellite require iOS 16.1.
Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple’s five software platforms—iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS—deliver seamless experiences across all of their Apple devices and empower people to offer advanced services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on Earth, and to leaving the world in a better state than we found it.
- Up to 10 emergency contacts with iOS 16.1 and iMessage will see the user’s location, emergency type, and the live transcript of their conversations with emergency services. Emergency contacts who aren’t on iPhone and iPhone users who aren’t using iOS 16.1 or iMessage will see the user’s location and emergency type. A user can choose to stop sharing their information with an emergency contact at any time. In order to reach the relay center or dispatcher closest to the user, location information will also be shared with Apple.
- Call and response times vary based on location, site conditions, and other factors. See support.apple.com/kb/HT213426 for more information.
- Access to a satellite connection with fault detection and fall detection on your Apple Watch requires a connected iPhone 14 model with iOS 16.1.
- Users who purchased the iPhone 14 model prior to the availability date of Emergency SOS via Satellite will get two years of service for free starting from the date the service becomes available.
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