While smartwatches have always been able to relay notifications, the ability to make emergency calls was a big step forward in making them standalone devices.
Generally, Emergency SOS features have two functions. The first is to call local emergency responders if you find yourself in a bind. For instance, if you take a nasty spill and can’t make it to the phone, your watch can call 911. The second is to relay your location to a select group of trusted contacts. For folks who want to leave their phone at home, these features can ensure that your loved ones will be able to find you if you’re injured or need help.
You don’t necessarily need a cellular watch to make use of Emergency SOS. However, a cellular watch is the best option if you want Emergency SOS to be available at all times. Otherwise, you’ll need to have your phone nearby or your watch will need some sort of internet connectivity via Wi-Fi.
Most cellular services worldwide do have free emergency numbers, which can be used even your account is depleted, or without even having a valid SIM card. Looking at the details for South Africa, for example, an Apple Watch can call emergency services without the phone IF it was set up once to work with a cellular service. A watch is by far the most convenient way to very quickly trigger an emergency call, but I’m just not sure what works with a non-cellular watch in WiFi range of the phone, to actual emergency services. Mine does at least appear to trigger normal phone calls through the phone, so I’d expect it should still work.
The big takeaway, though, is you do need to configure and set up your watch (and you should do the same for your phone) for SOS calls, as many watches and phones will triggers alerts for falls, vehicle accidents, etc on your behalf.
#technology #SOS #emergency #smartwatch