Apple Emergency SOS via satellite available on iPhone 14

Apple Emergency SOS via satellite available on iPhone 14

With the latest phone, the iPhone 14 (multiple models), and the latest IOS (16.2 or later), callers attempting to reach 911 from a location without any cellular signal will have an additional option. Apple has teamed up with the Globalstar Satellite network to use their network of low Earth orbit satellites to enable emergency messaging. In its current state, satellite messaging can be slow; to mitigate the speed issues, Apple product engineers designed a flowchart-based question-and-answer system that will triage the call and provide emergency services, such as PSAPs, with a bunch of front-loaded information about the type of emergency. Below is the Operations Guide from Apple – lots of information I encourage folks to review.

An example of the initial data transfer is below. The delivery of information to PSAPs at the initial call answer shepherds some true NG911 capabilities into 911. Notice the individual’s name, the device’s height above the ellipsoid (HAE), and the device battery status are part of the initial data available to the call taker. That looks like information obtained directly from the device. While the other information was obtained through a series of caller questions, this other data falls in line with additional data about the caller, the call, and the location as described in more detail in the NENA Additional Data Standard NENA-STA-012.2-2017. It’s data like this (and more) that NG911 is built for.

Example of data sent to PSAP from the iPhone 14 using satellite SOS

Instructions to set satellite SOS on an iPhone 14:

I am excited to see this new capability that enables people in emergencies who wouldn’t previously be able to access 911 to get the help they need. It’s also encouraging that Apple is delivering additional data and taking that initial triage step to help provide emergency information to the call taker.

Have you taken a call from an iPhone 14 using the satellite SOS service? Share your experience with us.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!
Chapter President