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IPhone users will soon be able to share location with 911

23 June, 2018, 00:00 | Author: Vicki Mclaughlin
  • Apple to Provide More Precise Location Data for iPhone 911 Calls

Available to all American users, the service improves on Apple's existing Hybridized Emergency Location (HELO). The update, coming in iOS 12 later this year, calculates a caller's location based on data collected from WiFi access points, nearby cellular towers, and Global Positioning System. HELO uses a device's Global Positioning System and cell towers to estimate a 911 caller's location.

Apple's announcement adds to a growing trend of making location recognition from mobile phones easier for both individuals and those responding to 911 calls.

Apple has been keen to stress that location data will only be shared during 911 calls, and that the information "cannot be used for any non-emergency purpose".

"The 911 system is literally 50 years old this year". The target is to hit it where it's needed the most, which is the timely tracking and logistical response strategy to help the person in danger. Two other former FCC chairmen, Dennis Patrick and Julius Genachowski, are also investors. During the conference, both companies noted how important it is to know where a caller is when they contact 911. They might be in medical distress, or unable to speak because it would put them in danger. It might be off by as much as a few hundred yards, which can make a substantial difference if you're waiting for life-saving care.

Getting medical attention in the first 60-minutes after a traumatic injury is key to preventing death. When multiple people are on a call, their video windows will get larger when they're speaking and shrink when they're not.

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The service will be available later this year, Apple said.

iPhone users who dial 911 will soon be able to share their location with first responders, Apple announced Monday (June 18). Again, however, this is dependent per country, on condition that the endpoint to receive such data has been built by the mobile network operator or emergency infrastructure provider. AML is not now supported in the United States, and only works in nine countries.

911 telecommunicators do extraordinary work managing millions of emergencies with little more than a voice connection.

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