IPhones will now share your location when you call 911

IPhones will now share your location when you call 911

IPhones will now share your location when you call 911

The analogue system often struggles to decipher the precise location of calls coming from digital devices, resulting in emergency responders sometimes being sent a mile or more from people asking for help.

RapidSOS' protocol is already integrated with many U.S. 911 emergency centers, which makes Apple's new iOS 12 feature production-ready from the minute it's scheduled to launch this fall.

The technology is actually already available on iPhone through the RapidSOS Beacon app.

Tim Cook says that the change will help to speed up response time when most needed: "Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal".

Apple launched its Hybridized Emergency Location system in 2015.

Dispatchers will still ask callers the location of their emergency, but they'll be able to verify it faster, he said. The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant is partnering with RapidSOS, a New York-based emergency technology company, to integrate the ability to receive iPhone locations into 911 call centers' existing software. Furthermore, this feature can not be accessed for non-emergency calls.

iPhones also have an emergency SOS feature, which automatically calls emergency services and texts any emergency contacts your location.

In 2015, Apple launched an initiative called HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location), which estimates a mobile 911 caller's location by using cell towers and on-device data sources such as Global Positioning System and Wi-Fi.

Those over on Google's Android have had access to the company's Emergency Location Service (ELS) feature since the release of its Ice Cream Sandwich update back in 2012.

Apple recently took the wraps off the latest version of its iOS operating system, iOS 12.

The FCC is requiring all carriers to have the capability to locate mobile callers within 50 meters (164 feet) for at least 80 percent of wireless 911 calls by 2021.

Former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who invested in RapidSOS and became one of the company's advisors, said the way location is shared is similar to the way Uber can deliver a taxi to your front door. "But the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017 revived the litigation, saying Apple was a distributor that sold iPhone apps directly to consumers and must face the antitrust claims".

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