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Emergency calls by satellite, the new feature of the iPhone 14

Emergency calls by satellite, the new feature of the iPhone 14

14 minutes ago | by: David Kodjani

With the iPhone 14, Apple has ushered in new personal assistance features. They can connect to a satellite to alert emergency services in case of an accident in areas without a network or Wi-Fi.

With this new generation, Apple was keen to focus on user safety. With this in mind, the Apple brand has added two new features dedicated to personal assistance. 

First of all, we have the Accident Detection. As its name suggests, it allows you to detect serious car accidents and automatically call for help (if the user loses consciousness).

The other novelty in this security section is the satellite communication. The iPhone 14 also integrates the Emergency Call by Satellite feature. The principle is simple: in case of danger in an area without internet or cellular coverage, the user will be able to connect to a satellite via his iPhone 14 to alert the emergency services.

To do this, Apple has used "custom components tightly integrated with the software". However, satellites are moving targets with limited bandwidth. Users will therefore have to point their smartphone at an available satellite, a process that will be facilitated by the device's built-in guidance system. 

Once the iPhone 14 is correctly aligned with a satellite, the user will be asked several vital questions necessary to assess the person's status. 

These include questions such as:

  • What is the emergency: car accident, illness or injury, crime, lost or trapped, fire

  • Is anyone injured?

  • What is the best description of the emergency?

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Once this is done, the user will be able to send a text message to clarify the situation. Of course, this whole operation can take several minutes. "However, communication protocols are not adapted to the low bandwidth of satellites. That's why we created a custom compression algorithm to cut the size of the messages by a factor of three," says Ashley Williams, satellite modeling and simulation manager at Apple.

As the Cupertino firm points out, all responses are then sent to centers staffed by Apple-trained specialists who will notify the user of any emergency. 

In addition, note that it will be possible for users to share their location via satellite through the Locate application. 

According to Apple, satellite emergency calling will be available in the U.S. and Canada in November 2022, and will be free for two years for iPhone 14 owners.

Source : Phonandroid

Translated Koboyo by KANABIA