Innovative technology enables users to text with emergency services outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. 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.
Availability of Apple Security Service Emergency SOS
Emergency SOS by satellite and Find My by satellite are available in the US and Canada, and will be available in France, Germany, Ireland and the UK in December. The new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will be included free of charge for two years starting at the time of activation. Emergency SOS by satellite and find me by satellite are required iOS 16.1.
“Some of the most popular places to travel are off the beaten path and lack cellular coverage. With Emergency SOS via satellite, the iPhone 14 lineup provides consumers with an indispensable tool to get the help they need when they’re off the grid,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, in a statement.
“In addition to building reliable infrastructure on the ground, our teams have worked tirelessly to solve new technical challenges to bring this service to life. Emergency SOS via satellite is a breakthrough service available only on the iPhone 14 lineup, and we hope it can bring some peace of mind to our customers,” added Joswiak.
How does emergency SOS via satellite work?
Every model of the iPhone 14 series — iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max — can connect directly to a satellite through a combination of custom-designed components and deeply integrated software.
The way Emergency SOS via satellite works is that if you can’t reach emergency services due to lack of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage, an easy-to-use interface appears on the iPhone to help you use the satellite connection. To ensure that the user can quickly understand the situation and location, the initial message will feature a short questionnaire that helps the user answer key questions with a few simple taps sent to the sender. Apple worked with experts to review standard questions and protocols to identify the most common reasons for calling emergency services.
Following a questionnaire, the intuitive interface guides the user where to point their iPhone to connect and sends an initial message. This message contains user questionnaire responses; location including height; iPhone battery level; and Medical ID, if enabled. The questionnaire and subsequent messages are transmitted directly via satellite to senders who accept text messages or to relay centers staffed by Apple-trained professionals who can call for help on the user’s behalf. The transcript can also be shared with the user’s emergency contacts to notify them.