Sat. Sep 30th, 2023
The Different Stages of Using Emergency SOS via Satellite

During Apple’s recent iPhone 15 event, the company showcased the life-saving capabilities of its products such as active heart rate monitoring, Emergency SOS via satellite, and crash detection. However, it is important to note that these features can sometimes be inadvertently triggered, leading to unintended consequences.

In a personal account shared by John Cook, co-founder of GeekWire, he found himself in a situation where he accidentally activated the Emergency SOS via satellite feature on his iPhone 14 during a hiking trip in Dinosaur National Monument. Unaware of what had happened, Cook continued his hike, only to realize later that a rescue helicopter had been deployed to search for him.

After examining his phone, Cook discovered that he had unknowingly sent a satellite SOS alert to local search and rescue personnel, indicating that someone had fallen ill or been injured. Fortunately, with the assistance of a trail guide, the search and rescue mission was called off.

It remains unclear how Cook triggered the alert in the first place, and he reached out to the National Park Service to inquire about similar incidents. According to Brian Sikes, deputy chief of emergency services, there hasn’t been a significant increase in false alarms or unintentional activations specifically related to the iPhone 14. Jason Griswold, chief ranger at Dinosaur National Monument, also confirmed that there have not been numerous false alarms in the park.

While this incident highlights the potential for accidental triggers of emergency features, it is worth noting that the park has no plans to restrict the use of satellite phone technology within its boundaries. It’s crucial for users to familiarize themselves with the proper functioning and procedures of such features to prevent unintentional activations that may result in unnecessary emergency responses.

As technology continues to evolve, it is important for users to exercise caution and understand the functionalities of their devices to avoid accidentally triggering emergency services and causing unnecessary disruptions in rescue operations.