iPhone 14’s satellite connectivity feature saves life of a man stranded in snow

The incident occurred in Alaska, USA.

Highlights
  • Apple’s Emergency SOS via Satellite feature saved the life of a man stranded in Alaska.
  • There were no injuries, and the man was successfully rescued.
  • Emergency SOS via Satellite can SMS emergency services when cellular and Wi-Fi access are unavailable.

Apple introduced Emergency SOS via Satellite with the release of iOS 16.1, which is intended to let users of iPhone 14 get in touch with emergency services utilising satellite communication when no cellular or WiFi connection is available. According to a report by MacRumors, the feature saved the life of a man stranded in Alaska in the US.

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Apple recently said that the service is available in the US and Canada and will come to France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK in December.

How the newly launched Apple feature saved a life?

The Alaska State Troopers got a notification that a man using a snowmobile to travel from Noorvik to Kotzebue had gotten trapped on December 1st. To notify authorities of his situation, the man used the satellite connectivity on his iPhone 14 while in a chilly, isolated area without network.

The Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue Coordinator and the local search and rescue teams collaborated with Apple’s Emergency Response Center to dispatch volunteer searchers to the GPS coordinates sent to Apple via the emergency feature. There were no injuries, and the man was successfully rescued.

The report notes that the man was in a remote location just outside the range of satellite connectivity. Apple has reportedly warned that areas above 62-degree latitude may not have satellite service, and Noorvik and Kotzebue are close to 69-degree latitude.

Here’s how Emergency SOS via Satellite feature by Apple works

The iPhone 14 series, which includes the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max, can connect directly to a satellite using a combination of custom-designed components and deeply integrated software.

If you are unable to contact emergency services because there is no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage, Emergency SOS via satellite can assist you by employing a satellite connection and a user-friendly interface that shows on your iPhone. A short questionnaire seems to help the user answer important questions with just a few taps. The answers are sent to dispatchers in the first message, so they can quickly understand the user’s situation and location.

After the user fills out the questionnaire, an easy-to-use interface tells them where to point their iPhone to connect and sends the first message. This message includes the user’s questionnaire answers, location (including altitude), iPhone battery level, and, if Medical ID is turned on, the user’s medical information. The questionnaire and follow-up messages are sent directly by satellite to dispatchers who can read text messages or relay centres where Apple-trained specialists can call for help on the user’s behalf. The transcript can also be sent to the user’s emergency contacts to keep them informed.