Cupertino (California) [US], September 8 (ANI): Apple is incorporating a limited type of satellite communication into new iPhones, allowing users to send an SOS even when they are disconnected from the internet, with no dish necessary. While it does not allow normal data, phone, or text communication, it will notify emergency agencies of your situation and position.
As per Tech Crunch, in the event of a backcountry injury or other emergency, users using an iPhone 14 or 14 Pro with an updated wireless chipset can use the emergency SOS capability.
This feature from Apple is different from the likes of satellite-based data and text connectivity incoming features from Lynk, T-Mobile and Starlink. These are effectively orbiting cell towers powerful enough to reach and receive signals from the surface, while Apple is apparently collaborating with Globalstar, a typical satellite communication service that works in bands that normally require a special antenna.
As a result, users will need to point their phone at the satellite, which is obviously too small to see — so Apple created a little guidance software that assists them in pointing it in the appropriate direction.
However, bandwidth is extremely restricted, so once they are connected, they can select from a few pre-programmed messages such as what’s the situation, is anyone harmed? And so on.
These reduce the amount of data involved and hence take less time to send; your battery level, position, and medical information will be automatically sent as well.
The operation should take no more than 15 seconds at most, however, if there is any tree cover or the alignment is poor, it could take several minutes. And no one will respond right away, it’s a one-way dialogue. Your distress signal will be routed to a ground station and then to emergency services.
According to Tech Crunch, the programme, which will be accessible in the United States and Canada beginning from November, will be free for two years, according to Apple, though it did not specify how much it would cost after that time. Lynk and Starlink will almost certainly have their services fully operational by then, with the former aiming to give free emergency SMS and SOS functionality around the world.