When Apple announced iOS 12 at WWDC 2018, everybody knew that this year’s update would focus on bringing improvements to user experience and rolling out updates sans any bug instead of introducing fancy features.
However, Apple announced a new lifesaver feature for iOS 12 yesterday. With this new addition, your location will be shared to 911 call centers automatically when you dial the emergency number from your iPhone.
Apple used HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location) till date to detect the location of callers with the help of Wi-Fi access points and GPS. Apple has sought help from RapidSOS’s Internet Protocol-based data pipeline. RapidSOS is an emergency technology company which will help Apple in sharing the HELO location data with the first responders of 911.
The post said, “RapidSOS’s system will deliver the emergency location data of iOS users by integrating with many 911 centers’ existing software, which rely on industry-standard protocols.”
This will massively impact the response time and will prove to be a lifesaving feature for thousands of people who dial 911 in an emergency.
Talking of privacy, Apple has said that the data obtained cannot be used for any other purpose except in response to emergency and it will be accessed only by the responding 911 center.
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The new 911 feature will be available to all the devices running on iOS 12, and it has been introduced only in America as of now.
Apple also pointed out the fact that FCC requires mobile carriers to locate callers within the range of 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021. However, iOS location services can easily surpass this requirement and which is why the feature will help 911 centers to minimize the response time.
Apple is not the only company working in this, a report by The Wall Street Journal earlier this year said that Google tested its geolocation detection services and the data was sent to 911 operators for calls initiated from Android phones between the period of December 2017 and January 2018.
To wrap it up, this new ios 12 feature can prove vital in improving the age-old 911 system of the U.S. and has the potential to save the lives of many.