It is quite easy to call the emergency services. In most countries, all you need to do is dial a three-digit code. However, Apple may have plans to make this process even simpler. The company reportedly patented a new way of calling for help using just your fingertips. This patent describes how the user can program different fingerprints, patterns, and even the amount of force required to switch the phone into “panic mode”. This would result in the phone calling the emergency services, and could activate a live-stream off video, or provide the location data through GPS, of the person in need of help.
Already there are several examples of smart jewelry that work in a similar way, which are already on the market. Such technology could save lives in some situations. This has been demonstrated by a number of recent reports. For example, in London, a four-year-old boy managed to save his mother’s life with Siri’s help.
This Apple patent dates back to 2013. The idea is to make use of the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor, located on the device’s home button, as a panic button that would summon the emergency services when the user is in danger. This technology, known as Biometric Initiated Communication, relies on Touch ID’s ability to distinguish between fingers, and also know the strength or position of each press of the Home button.
Perhaps this technology will make it to iPhone s I the near future. Maybe it will be included in the upcoming iPhone 8. However, one cannot stress enough how valuable this tech could prove to be. Granted, it is not a perfect proposal. One could accidentally trigger the panic button and send emergency services racing to their location. But then, a setting that is too difficult to triggering potential life-and-death situations could make things worse. Hopefully, Apple or another phone maker will find a way to make this work.