Apple announced its Emergency SOS via satellite service during the iPhone 14 series launch event. The new Satellite Emergency SOS service is exclusive to the iPhone 14 series, thanks to the new n53 band on the phones which can connect to satellites from Globalstar.
Now, Apple is finally rolling out the service for the iPhone 14 series. Emergency SOS via satellite is now available for users in the US and Canada.
Available on all iPhone 14 models, the innovative technology enables users to message with emergency services while 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.
The company also announced that users in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK will be getting the service from sometime in December.
What is Emergency SOS via satellite
The iPhone 14 series features emergency SOS, where the phone can directly communicate with a satellite to contact emergency services. Although, Satellites are actually very slow-moving targets, and they don’t have a lot of bandwidth. To counter this, the new iPhones automatically “front-loads a few questions to assess your situation “.
You can then tap to respond, and the phone will point you to a satellite. Once a connection is established, your iPhone sends “your answers, location, Medical ID (if set up), and battery level to a dispatcher.”
According to Apple, the Emergency SOS via satellite service is included for free for two years with the iPhone 14 lineup, meaning the service will be chargeable somewhere down the line. As satellite communication is very slow, a normal message would take less than 15 minutes to send, and that can extend up to a minute under light foliage.
To even enable this timing, Apple had to create a separate compression algorithm that essentially makes texts up to three times smaller.
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