SOS feature of iPhone 14 saves man in Alaska

The satellite SOS function received by Apple's iPhone 14 smartphone is already producing results.

by Faruk Imamovic
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SOS feature of iPhone 14 saves man in Alaska

The satellite SOS function received by Apple's iPhone 14 smartphone is already producing results. Troopers in Alaska were notified around 2:00 a.m. Dec. 1 that a man traveling by snowmobile from Noorvik to Kotzebue had activated the SOS feature on his iPhone after becoming stuck.

Working with local search and rescue teams and Apple's Emergency Response Center, four volunteer trackers were sent directly to the GPS coordinates of the victim. It can be said that he was lucky because Apple warned that the satellite SOS function may not work in places above 62 degrees latitudes such as northern parts of Canada and Alaska, and Noorvik and Kotzebue are close to 69 degrees.

The troopers who saved the man said they were ‘impressed with the accuracy and completeness of information included in the initial alert’. The SOS function is designed to ask the user several questions before sending a notification, and the goal is to speed up rescue missions.

It's a new security feature on iPhone 14 that allows users to contact emergency services via a satellite connection even when no cellular or Wi-Fi connection is available.

Alaska Department of Public Safety shared a dispatch

"On December 1, 2022, at around 2:00 am, the Alaska State Troopers were notified that an adult male traveling via snowmachine from Noorvik to Kotzebue had activated an Apple iPhone Emergency SOS via satellite on his iPhone after becoming stranded.

Working with local search and rescue teams, the Apple Emergency Response Center, and the Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue Coordinator, the NWAB SAR deployed four volunteer searchers to the Nimiuk Point area directly to the GPS coordinates provided by the Apple Emergency Response Center.

The adult male was located and transported to Kotzebue by the volunteer search team. There were no injuries reported to Troopers." Apple rolled out the feature to all iPhone 14 models in the US and Canada in November. The feature also informs the user's family and friends of their location while traveling outside network coverage, which is possible through the Find My app and satellite location sharing.

The function will be free to use for a period of two years, and how much it will cost after that is not yet known. The SOS feature is currently available in the US and Canada but is coming soon to France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK.

Apple
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