Satellite Emergency SOS available today on the iPhone 14 line in the US and Canada
IPhone 14 users can now connect with emergency services when cellular and Wi-Fi coverage are unavailable; the service extends to France, Germany, Ireland and the UK in December
CUPERTINO, CALIFORNIA Apple today announced that its revolutionary satellite Emergency SOS security service is now available to customers in the United States and Canada. Available on all iPhone 14 models, the innovative technology allows users to send messages with emergency services outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. Plus, if users want to reassure friends and family about their location while traveling off the network, they can now open the Find My app and share their location via satellite. Satellite Emergency SOS is available in the United States and Canada starting 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 off the beaten track and simply lack cellular coverage. With satellite emergency SOS, the iPhone 14 line provides an indispensable tool that can provide users with the help they need while they are off the network, ”said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Our teams have worked tirelessly to address a new set of technical challenges to bring this service to life, as well as build a reliable infrastructure in the field. Satellite Emergency SOS is a revolutionary service available only on the iPhone 14 line and a new innovation that we hope will provide our customers with some peace of mind. ”
All models in the iPhone 14 range – iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max – can connect directly to a satellite via a combination of custom components and deeply integrated software. Satellite Emergency SOS builds on existing features vital to iPhone users, including Emergency SOS, Medical ID, Emergency Contacts, and Find My Location Sharing, offering the ability to connect to a satellite for a more convenient approach. 360 degrees to the sharing of critical information with emergency services, family and friends. This revolutionary service allows Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) – or emergency services call centers – to connect to even more users in emergency situations 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 specialists who are ready to contact PSAPs who cannot receive text messages on behalf of the user.
“Providing emergency SOS via satellite is a major step forward that will save lives. Apple’s critical work to create innovative new solutions to support emergency health service providers and first responders is a huge step forward in protecting Californians and the general public during an emergency, “said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
How the satellite emergency SOS works
iPhone can quickly and easily call emergency services if a user needs help, even if they are unable to dial 911. With Satellite Emergency SOS, introduced with the iPhone 14 range, if a user is unable contacting the emergency services because there is no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage available, an easy-to-use interface is displayed on the iPhone to get user assistance using a satellite connection. A short questionnaire appears to help the user answer vital questions with a few simple taps, which is passed on to the dispatchers in the initial message, to ensure they are able to quickly understand the user’s situation and location. Apple worked closely with experts to review standard questions and protocols to identify the most common reasons for calling emergency services.
Following the questionnaire, the intuitive interface guides the user where to point their iPhone to connect to and sends the initial message. This message includes responses to the user’s questionnaire; location, including altitude; iPhone battery level; and Physician ID, if enabled. The questionnaire and follow-up messages are forwarded directly via satellite to dispatchers who accept text messages or to forwarding centers run by Apple-trained specialists who can ask for help on your behalf. The transcript can also be shared with the user’s emergency contacts to keep them informed.1
“We dedicate our lives to helping people in need, but inevitably there are people who are unable to contact a dispatcher. The satellite emergency SOS will allow us to help iPhone users in more remote areas that otherwise would not be able to reach us, “said Jennifer Kirkland, ENP, head of the Grand Junction Regional Communications Center.” Because this service does not requires additional technology for PSAPs and since Apple has implemented a relay center model that 911 operators are familiar with, we can expect a seamless rollout, both for PSAPs that accept text messages, and for those that are still voice -alone.”
Satellites move fast, have low bandwidth, and are thousands of miles away from Earth, so it can take a few minutes for even short messages to arrive. Apple has designed and built custom components and software that allow the iPhone 14 to connect to the unique frequencies of a satellite without a bulky antenna. A text compression algorithm was also developed to reduce the average message size by 300 percent, making the experience as fast as possible. With satellite emergency SOS, users can send and receive messages in as little as 15 seconds under clear conditions.2 Using the integrated emergency SOS demo via satellite, users can test satellite connectivity on their iPhone by connecting to a real satellite in range without calling emergency services, allowing them to experience the process and familiarize themselves with the service.
“The satellite emergency SOS will not only be useful for those living in rural areas without cellular coverage, but also for those on the trajectory of a natural disaster that puts mobile networks in crisis. It will enable members of affected communities to connect with emergency health services and get help, and that is our mission, ”said Laurene Anderson, NENA: president of the 9-1-1 Association and Charlotte County, E911 manager of the Florida. “Awareness and training will be key to the seamless adoption of this service. What Apple is doing to spread the word among shippers and to allow the community to practice with a demo mode that doesn’t contact emergency services will help everyone know what to do when an emergency occurs. ”
For users who leave the network but are not in emergency situations, this advanced technology also allows them to share their location via satellite with Find My. In the Find My app, users can open the Me tab, swipe up to view My Location via satellite, and tap Send My Location. The satellite connection on the iPhone 14 line also works with other security features available on the iPhone and Apple Watch, including Crash Detection and Fall Detection.3
- Emergency SOS Satellite and Find My Satellite are available today in WE And Canadaand will be available in France, Germany, Irelandand the UK in December. The service will be included free of charge for two years starting from the moment of activation of a new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.4
- Satellite Emergency SOS and Find My Satellite require iOS 16.1.
Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple is the world leader 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 Apple devices and offer people revolutionary services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, and iCloud. Apple’s 100,000+ employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth and leaving the world better than we found it.
- Up to 10 emergency contacts using iOS 16.1 and iMessage will see the user’s location, the type of emergency and a real-time transcript of the conversation with the emergency services. Emergency contacts who are not on iPhone and iPhone users who are not using iOS 16.1 or iMessage will see the user’s location and type of emergency. The user can choose to stop sharing their information with an emergency contact at any time. To reach the closest forwarding center or dispatcher to you, the location information will also be shared with Apple.
- Connection and response times vary based on location, site conditions and other factors. For more information, see support.apple.com/kb/HT213426.
- Access to a satellite connection with Crash Detection and Fall Detection on Apple Watch requires a connected iPhone 14 model with iOS 16.1.
- Users who purchased an iPhone 14 model prior to the Emergency SOS satellite availability date will receive two years of free service starting from the service availability date.
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