Apple’s suite of products offers various health and fitness features, some of which have proven to be life-saving. While the Apple Watch has been credited with saving lives by detecting health abnormalities, it is not the only device that can come to the rescue. The Emergency SOS via satellite feature on the iPhone is equally crucial and can be a lifeline in dire circumstances.
The Emergency SOS via satellite feature allows users to send SOS messages directly through a satellite, even in areas without cell reception. It is achieved through deep software integration with the iPhone antenna, enabling communication with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. This feature not only allows users to contact emergency services but also lets them share their Medical ID and notify their emergency contacts.
Initially introduced with the iPhone 14, the Emergency SOS via satellite feature is supported on the latest iPhone 15 as well. It was initially available only in the US and Canada but has now been expanded to include countries such as Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.
To use the Emergency SOS via satellite feature on an iPhone 15, find a location with a clear view of the sky, as it requires a direct connection to a satellite. If calling emergency services does not work, a pop-up option for Emergency Text via Satellite will appear, or you can use the Messages app to send a text to 911 or SOS. After connecting, the iPhone shares critical information such as emergency contacts, Medical ID, location (including elevation), and battery level to ensure a prompt response from rescuers.
It is important to note that the Emergency SOS via satellite feature is available for free for two years after activating the device, according to Apple.
Past instances have shown the effectiveness of this feature. One example involved a man stranded in Alaska who was able to reach out for help using the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature. In another incident, two women were led astray by Google Maps and ended up trapped in a blizzard. They lost cell service but were able to contact the Apple Help Center through the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature on their iPhone 14, which ultimately saved their lives.
The Emergency SOS via satellite feature on the iPhone 15 serves as a powerful tool for individuals in emergency situations, ensuring that help can be summoned even in areas with no cellular or Wi-Fi connection.