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How your iPhone could contact the emergency services despite the absence of telephone networks


Apple is deploying this Tuesday a service for sending emergency messages by satellite to 112 to cover white areas or deal with poten

Lost hiker, injured adventurer or boater in peril... If this satellite emergency communication service was originally only a niche market, it could expand in the context of power cuts which would put the telecom networks out of service.

The Californian giant Apple launches this Tuesday its emergency SOS service by satellite in France, including in the DOM-TOM or in Corsica.

After a launch in the United States in November, this option fills the void of white areas, poorly covered or - another scenario now possible - an area temporarily devoid of 4G coverage in the event of load shedding.

Read alsoLe Parisien tested: the iPhone 14 Pro, the start of a revolution

A free service for two years, but this use of 112 (European emergency number) will only be possible on the latest generation of iPhone 14 (from 1,019 euros), including the 14 Plus and the 14 spared by the shortage the end of the year.

They include components designed, according to the Apple brand, to optimize the satellite connection with the existing antennas of the smartphone.

Apple engineers have managed to miniaturize the massive satellite phones used so far.

No software update is planned to extend this functionality to previous generations.

A compressed text system

The emergency process begins with a questionnaire about the reason for the call and the person's condition.

The software plays an essential role in this service which logically has a weak connection.

Algorithms compress up to three times this personal data which must be transmitted to a distant satellite with limited bandwidth.

The device's interface and gyroscope will then help the user to better orient the iPhone towards one of the 24 nearest Globalstar satellites.

Please note that the emergency message will not be able to start if the view is obstructed by trees or clouds.

A physical limit to communication that affects all satellite connections.

The iPhone automatically switches to Satellite mode in the total absence of a Telecom network.

With correct conditions, the emergency message leaves with the geolocation, the essential information on the potential injuries, the medical form (if you have pre-filled it) but also the percentage of battery of the iPhone.

This encrypted content passes through a ground tracking station and is then processed in an Apple relay center.

It is these emergency specialists who call the nearest emergency services.

A report is also sent to the emergency contact.

Read alsoiPhone 14: Apple offers to pay for its precious 24 instalments

Less anxiety-provoking but just as useful, the "Locate" function of the iPhone 14 also integrates the satellite connection to share with loved ones its precise geolocation when there is no network, in the mountains for example.

Apple has invested 450 million dollars to strengthen the infrastructure of its partner Globalstar, the satellite operator which provides coverage for this new network.

The Cupertino company thus continues to diversify with a new service and ventures, for the first time, into communication.

Source: leparis

All news articles on 2022-12-15

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