iPhone 14 and Apple Watch play guardian angels

After fall detection, the Californian brand has equipped its latest Apple Watch Series 8 and Ultra, as well as its iPhone 14, with car accident detection.

The Apple Watch can save lives. This was the opening message of Apple’s keynote, Wednesday, September 7 from the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park in Cupertino (California). In a lengthy video, Apple read letters from users of its smartwatch thanking the company for saving their life or that of a loved one with its multiple functions, from detecting heart fibrillation to call for help in the event of a fall and loss of consciousness.

For several years, Apple has wanted to make its products, iPhone and Apple Watch in mind, allies of health in all its forms. And it can also take the form of a guardian angel ready to signal that you have a serious issue to consider.

Detect movements in the vehicle

Thanks to its various sensors including its gyroscope, the Apple Watch is thus able to understand a fall and know, if you do not react in the following minutes, that you must quickly notify a loved one named in your contact list. emergency or even rescue. Last year, bike fall detection was added to the functions on the same principle.

This year, Apple presented accident detection at its annual conference on September 7. Thanks to the new and improved sensors in iPhone 14 like in Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE 2 and the all-new Apple Watch Ultra, these devices are able to understand that users had boarded a vehicle that s was found injured.

Apple Watch Series 8 crash detection feature
The accident detection function of the Apple Watch Series 8 © Apple

How does it work? Simply enough. All three connected watches have a new, more precise accelerometer and a new, more efficient gyroscope. Thanks to a sensor fusion algorithm, the on-board barometer, the GPS for the route and the speed, as well as the microphones, which will pick up the surrounding noises in the cabin, Apple is able to detect combinations of elements signaling a serious accident.

It also works for the iPhone’s barometer and GPS as well as the microphone that picks up typical crash noises. An advanced motion detection algorithm is added to the elements taken into account to conclude a pile-up. Apple Watch and iPhone can also work together for even more accurate detection.

Bikers not taken into account

The company has also relied on multiple laboratory crash tests and data collected during real accidents (collisions, rollovers, etc.) with standard cars to design its function and make it applicable to passengers in cars, SUV or other pick-ups.

In the event of an accident, and without a reaction from the user within 10 seconds to indicate that everything is fine, the Apple Watch or the iPhone will then send a notification to the list of emergency contacts and call for help. All will then receive the location of the watch or phone. However, this new option will not work for motorcycle riders whose movements are not understood precisely by the algorithm at the moment in the event of an impact (throwing in the air, on the ground, sliding, etc.).

The accident detection function of the iPhone 14 Pro
The accident detection function of the iPhone 14 Pro © Apple

Note that Apple also unveiled its new Satellite Emergency Call function during the conference. In case of non-coverage by a cellular or Wi-Fi network, the iPhone can then, thanks to its antennas, connect to a satellite in order to send an emergency message. The smartphone will then be able to detect the position of a nearby satellite to obtain the best possible connection for its call.

Aware that this may take a little time, the iPhone then asks vital questions about the person who may be in danger in order to assess their condition and send the appropriate help. A very useful innovation when hiking or in the middle of a desert, rugged or wild area. But we will still have to wait to see it arrive in France. Launched next November and free for two years, the emergency satellite call will initially only concern the United States and Canada, before rolling out worldwide over the following months.

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