iPhone 14’s SOS satellite feature saves a man in Alaska

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Just a few weeks later Apple’s new Emergency SOS service has gone live in the US and Canada, the first success story is here. A man used his iPhone 14 to send an SOS signal via satellite to a rescue team after becoming stranded in Alaska.

“At approximately 2 a.m. on December 1, 2022, Alaska State Troopers received word that an adult male traveling from Noorvik to Kotzebue in a snow machine had an Apple iPhone Emergency SOS activated via satellite on his iPhone after becoming stranded. search and rescue teams, the Apple Emergency Response Center and the Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue Coordinator, the NWAB SAR, dispatched four volunteer searchers to the Nimiuk Point area directly to the GPS coordinates provided by the Apple Emergency Response Center provided. located and transported to Kotzebue by the volunteer search team. “No trooper injuries have been reported,” reads a notice from the Alaska Department of Public Safety.

What is emergency SOS via satellite?

Essentially, the functionality allows a user to connect directly to a satellite. Users are then directed to emergency services that can receive text messages. When attempting to call emergency services such as 911, the iPhone recognizes that the user is out of cellular or Wi-Fi range and launches a custom user interface to help the user navigate the SOS emergency service.

The aforementioned UI shows where the satellite is in the sky and guides the user to point the phone in that direction to connect. After the connection is established, the person is asked a series of questions to determine the type of emergency and to get all the important details. All information is then forwarded via the same satellite to an emergency center or Apple’s own SOS services.

The service is free for the first two years with any iPhone 14 activation and is expected to make its way outside of North America to France, Germany, Ireland and the UK later this month.

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