Could your iPhone save your life?


Mrs. Giancola

Samantha Kinnaird uses a potentially life-saving device: her iPhone.

Samantha Kinnaird, Staff Writer

Could Siri be one step closer to being a functional AI (artificial intelligence) device? Although she currently lacks some of the fundamental programming that would make her a by-the-book AI, Siri is only getting “smarter” each day.

People are relying more and more on their iPhones. We wake up and the first thing we do is check our iPhone. Siri, what’s the weather like today? Based off her response, we plan our outfits before we even step outside the door to look for ourselves.

With recent updates, Siri is even able to plan out your entire day. A simple command will set up a daily agenda in which you can directly book reservations to restaurants and even movies. To most people who grew up with an iPhone, this isn’t news. However, did you know that your iPhone could save your life?

Apple has introduced a new feature to their iPhones with the installation of IOS 10.2 (available toward the end of 2016). It has been slightly modified for the newer generations of iPhone 8 and X. If you have an iPhone 7 or lower you can activate Emergency SOS by rapidly clicking the power button five times. In the iPhone 8 and up, you hold down the power button and one of the volume buttons. A slider will then appear asking if you would like to contact emergency services.

This new function gets rid of the need for apps, such as Aspire News or SafeTrek. Some functions of these apps require WIFI or data. Or even in the case of SafeTrek, you have to pay monthly for the services. However, Emergency IOS is free and built into the program of the phone itself.

If you ever feel unsafe or threatened, all you have to do is reach into your pocket and press the correct buttons. Your phone will instantly contact emergency services for you as well as sending your exact location.This can be done discreetly, in case you are in a situation that you may not want any more attention brought to you.

In your settings, you can also opt to have a message sent to your medical contacts, which you can set up in the HEALTH app on your phone. For a period afterward, your phone will continue to send location updates to your health contacts. This can be extremely useful if you fear that you could be abducted or otherwise restrained.

I highly encourage anyone who hasn’t already done so to add Health Contacts. This can be done by going to SETTINGS > EMERGENCY SOS > SET UP EMERGENCY CONTACTS IN HEALTH. While still in the EMERGENCY SOS interface you can also enable AUTOCALL. By selecting this setting, your phone will begin a countdown when the corresponding buttons for the Emergency SOS are pressed. If not enabled, you will have to swipe the slider for emergency services to be called.

You can’t be prepared for everything. Accidents happen and people get hurt. But with the introduction of this new program on your iPhone, you could not only save your life but others. The discreteness of the app allows for easy access without tipping off an attacker. Whether it be for yourself or others, all owners of iPhones should become familiar with the Emergency SOS program.