IPhones Will Share Location with Emergency Services During 911 Call

IPhones Will Share Location with Emergency Services During 911 Call

Apple will automatically share a user's location with emergency services when they call 911 in the future, the company said Monday.

The analogue system often struggles to decipher the precise location of calls coming from digital devices, resulting in emergency responders sometimes being sent a mile or more from people asking for help. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance".

Apple is collaborating with RapidSOS, a startup that makes technology that pulls location information from smartphones directly into 911 call center software.

The justices said they would hear Apple's appeal of a lower court's ruling that revived the proposed class-action lawsuit by iPhone buyers over commissions that the Cupertino, California-based technology company receives through its App Store.

An estimated 80 percent of roughly 240 million emergency calls in the USA this year will come from mobile phones, most of which are capable of precisely tracking where their users are.

Apple unveiled the iOS 12 software upgrade at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose. iOS 12 will be at the core of the next new iPhone (s) that likely will be announced in September.

Those over on Google's Android have had access to the company's Emergency Location Service (ELS) feature since the release of its Ice Cream Sandwich update back in 2012. While we have already talked a lot about these new features, iOS 12 will also bring somewhat of an important feature - as long as you are in the United States. It will see the location of US iPhone users shared with dispatch responders during 911 calls. Apple's system uses technology that estimates a phone's location with data from cell towers, GPS and Wi-Fi access points. While it will be turned on by default for all users who update to iOS 12 in the US, there will be the option to opt out.

The main objective of this added functionality is obvious, as it aims to lessen emergency response times by smooth-running the process of gathering information from the 911 caller. "Lives will be saved thanks to this effort by Apple and RapidSOS", said Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman from 2013 to 2017 in a statement. Apple noted today an upcoming FCC requirement that tasks carriers with being able to locate subscribers within 50 meters 80% of the time by 2021, and boasts that this pairing of HELO and RapidSOS is capable of exceeding those requirements today. The stakes here are also certainly high, given that e-commerce sales hit $452 billion in the US last year, according to USA government estimates cited by Reuters.

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