Apple is known to launch marquee products that have set a benchmark for other competitors in the industry. This time, the most popular smartphone company has released info about the much-awaited iOS 12 updates.
Even though a mobile phone knows its users’ location and helps them find their destiny yet, they have failed to notify 911 of the exact location to send adequate help. The minute difference in location can decide life and death.
The newest iPhone software update will send the precise location to the emergency responder throughout America. The location of the caller is diagnosed by calculating data received from nearby WiFi access points, GPS, and cellular towers.
Although the hybrid location technology was in use since 2015 yet it was dependent on 911’s old system built specifically for landlines.
One should know that around 240 million calls are received by 911 each year, and over 80 percent are dialed from a mobile device. Currently, Apple is working with Rapidshare; a start-up focused on providing a cell phone location’s information. The company is offering a free software update to 911 dispatch systems all over the country.
Apple’s take on caller’s security
The new feature was announced at the National Emergency Number Association (NEMA) conference in Nashville. Former FCC chairman and investor in RapidSOS stated that “The 911 system is literally 50 years old this year. It has not made the evolution into the digital era.” He has always advised for a more accurate system to be used by 911 and has invested his funds RapidSOS after his retirement in 2017.
While backing its innovation, Apple said that not all callers know their location and some can’t even communicate their information verbally. A person in need of help can be in a very dangerous situation, and the emergency responder cannot wait for him/her to provide more specific details. In order to eliminate the issue, information can be gained from cell towers improving accuracy in hundreds of yards.
It further stated a person in need of medical attention needs help in the “golden hour” (60 minutes). According to a 2014 report by FCC, inefficient location information leads to over 10,000 unnecessary deaths on a yearly basis. It should also be noted that RapidSOS has been able to reach thousands of public safety agencies around the US.
When a 911 center receives a call from a RapidSOS using the device that is accompanied with more information about caller’s data from the application. It also provides the medical history of the caller to prepare the emergency service provider for any precautionary measures.
For privacy reasons, Apple will not be providing the name of the user and the feature will not be accessible for non-emergency calls. For iOS 12 users the feature will be turned on by default.
The feature is reasonably practical in cases that involve a mentally disturbed or a heavily injured caller. Most probably, other smartphone makers will also be including the feature by the end of 2019 making the world a safer place for cell phone users.