Users of the iPhone 14 can now contact emergency services even when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage; starting in December, the service is also available in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK.
On November 15, 2022, Apple announced that customers in the US and Canada could now access the ground-breaking safety service Emergency SOS via satellite. The ground-breaking technology, which is compatible with all iPhone 14 models, enables users to communicate with emergency services while away from cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.
Additionally, users can now open the Find My app and share their location via satellite if they want to reassure friends and family of their whereabouts while traveling off the grid. Starting today, November 15, emergency SOS via satellite is available in the US and Canada. It will also be accessible in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK in December.
The iPhone 14 lineup, which includes the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max, all have the ability to connect directly to a satellite using a combination of specially created hardware and tightly integrated software. The ability to connect to a satellite for a more 360-degree approach to sharing crucial information with emergency services, family, and friends through Emergency SOS via satellite builds on existing features that iPhone users value, such as sharing Find My Location data, Medical ID, and Emergency SOS.
This innovative service, which doesn’t need any additional software or protocols to enable communications, enables Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) or emergency services call centers to connect to even more users in emergency situations. Users will either be connected directly to emergency services that can receive text messages or to relay centers with emergency specialists trained by Apple who are prepared to make calls on their behalf to PSAPs that can’t.
How Does the iPhone’s Emergency SOS via Satellite Function?
Even if a user is unable to call 911, their iPhone can quickly and easily contact emergency services if they are in need of assistance. If a user is unable to contact emergency services because there is no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage available, Emergency SOS via satellite, introduced with the iPhone 14 lineup, provides an easy-to-use interface to get the user help using a satellite connection. To ensure that dispatchers can quickly comprehend a user’s situation and location, a brief questionnaire appears to allow the user to respond to important questions with a few simple taps. This information is then transmitted to dispatchers in the initial message.
There are five different types of emergencies that you can report when you choose to send a message via satellite. A problem with a car or vehicle, illness or injury, crime, getting lost or trapped, or a fire.
Apple closely collaborated with experts to review protocols and standard questions to determine the most frequent causes for emergency service calls. After completing the questionnaire, the user’s iPhone is connected and the first message is sent thanks to the user-friendly interface’s guidance.
The user’s survey responses, location, including altitude, iPhone battery level, and Medical ID, if enabled, are all included in this message. The survey and any subsequent messages are transmitted directly via satellite to text-message-capable dispatchers or relay centers manned by Apple-trained professionals who can make emergency calls on the user’s behalf. In order to inform the user’s emergency contacts, the transcript can also be shared with them.
What did Apple pay for this service?
The vital infrastructure needed to support Emergency SOS via satellite for iPhone 14 models is provided by a $450 million investment from Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund. Later this month, the new service will be made available to customers in the US and Canada. It will enable the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models to connect directly to a satellite and enable messaging with emergency services while out of range of cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
Globalstar, a global satellite service with headquarters in Covington, Louisiana, and locations all over the US, receives the lion’s share of the funding. With Apple’s investment, Globalstar’s satellite network and ground stations will receive crucial upgrades, ensuring iPhone 14 users can access emergency services even when they are disconnected from the grid. More than 300 people work for Globalstar and support the new service.
According to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, “Emergency SOS via satellite is a perfect example of how American ingenuity and technology can save lives.” We are proud that this service was made possible by reputable US businesses and that our users can travel in remote locations with the knowledge that help is still available if they need it.
One of the ground-breaking safety features offered by the iPhone 14 lineup is emergency SOS via satellite. When a user is unconscious or unable to reach their iPhone, Crash Detection is now capable of detecting a serious auto accident and automatically dialing emergency services.
Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite service, which is provided in collaboration with Globalstar, makes use of the spectrum in the L and S bands that have been specifically designated by ITU Radio Regulations for mobile satellite services. When an iPhone user sends an Emergency SOS request via satellite, one of the 24 Globalstar satellites in low-Earth orbit, which is moving at a speed of about 16,000 mph, receives the message. The message is then transmitted from the satellite to specialized ground stations placed at strategic locations all over the world.
When a message is received by a ground station, it is forwarded to emergency services that can dispatch assistance or, if local emergency services are unable to receive text messages.
According to Jay Monroe, executive chairman of Globalstar, “the launch of Emergency SOS via satellite direct to iPhone is a generational advancement in satellite communications, and we are proud that The satellites and spectrum resources of Globalstar will be essential in saving lives. To build, expand, and modernize our ground stations, we have increased the size of our teams in California and elsewhere. thanks to Apple’s infrastructure investment, and we eagerly anticipate the next development in Globalstar’s life-saving technology.
Which devices are compatible with Apple’s Emergency SOS over satellite feature?
Apple’s satellite-based Emergency SOS service is currently only accessible on models of the iPhone 14. The most recent iPhones can connect to a satellite directly because they have unique components built into their antennas. Previous iPhone models’ antennas weren’t upgraded in this way, so they can’t directly connect to satellites.
We sincerely hope you never need to use Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite feature, but it does sound like it could save your life in an emergency. Consider the iPhone 14 lineup if you’re going to a forest alone.