Emergency SOS takes advantage of the satellite connection and Apple proprietary algorithms to contact the emergency services even when out of network or Wi-Fi coverage.
A welcome novelty for iPhone 14 holders. Apple’s latest iOS smartphone now comes with an emergency SOS security service. Emergency SOS works through the satellite and allows you to send an emergency message without network coverage or Wi-Fi connections.
The service integrates with other features already present in the smartphone: the user’s medical ID and emergency contacts. Emergency SOS is also able to communicate with the Dov’è app. This way, it is possible to provide indications regarding your position offline.
The first users who can take advantage of Emergency SOS are those living in the United States and Canada. Subsequently, the service trial will be extended to France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The service is available exclusively to the iPhone 14 range: from the basic model to the Plus model, passing through the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
How Emergency SOS Works
Emergency SOS allows you to contact emergency services such as 911 in the United States. Even if the iPhone 14 cannot make a phone call or send a message via the Internet. In an emergency, the smartphone displays an interface that helps the user take advantage of the satellite connection. It is a questionnaire designed to be completed quickly and without difficulty.
The aim is to send a message that helps recipients to understand the emergency clearly: starting from the type of crisis that concerns the user up to his position.
To carry out this questionnaire, Apple has involved security experts and crises. A screening of the most common reasons that lead a citizen to contact emergency services was conducted.
The user must enter their location, including altitude and, if enabled, their Medical ID. It must also provide other information, including the battery status of the smartphone. The message is forwarded to a particular Apple center, which has the task of viewing it and asking the appropriate authorities for help on behalf of the user.
How Satellite Communication Works
The main technical challenge of Emergency SOS was making optimal use of the satellite connection. Satellites are located thousands of kilometers from Earth and have low bandwidth.
Usually, communication via satellite or a short message can take several minutes. This is why Apple has created ad hoc components and software to connect with the iPhone 14 using unique frequencies.
In addition, an algorithm has been developed that can compress text by about 300%. This way, users with difficulty can send and receive messages in plus or minus 15 seconds.