Apple taps RapidSOS to help emergency responders pinpoint iOS users' locations

Apple taps RapidSOS to help emergency responders pinpoint iOS users' locations

See, when iOS 12 is released later this year, and if there's an emergency at your end forcing you to call 911, your location will be shared with the authorities safely and securely using Apple's HELP (Hybridized Emergency Location) and RapidSOS's Internet Protocol data pipeline.

The Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc., Tim Cook stated that this service was the best technology that was now available anywhere and would help first responders reach their customers when they needed assistance the most. User location data can not be shared for non-emergency purposes, and only the 911 center will have access to the location during the call itself.

This change in iOS 12 is based on the Apple's HELO launched in 2015, and will be integrated with already existing software with alarm technology RapidSOS.

Apple has announced that the newest version of its operating system for the iPhone and iPad will contain enhanced emergency features to make it easier for users to get help in a crisis.

According to information from Apple, roughly 80 percent of 911 calls come from mobile devices, but it is hard for call centers to accurately determine the location of these devices due to "outdated" infrastructure.

With the test system, if a caller cannot articulate where they are, the dispatcher can log their cell phone number into the system and get their location.

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The technology giant said that it was adding this new technology ahead of the expected Federal Communications Commission ruling that by 2021 phone carriers would need to be able to locate emergency calls within a 50 meter radius of the call at least 80% of the time. Apple said user data can not be used for any nonemergency goal, and only the responding 911 center will have access to the user's location during an emergency call.

According to the city, three-fourths of 911 calls are made from cellphones.

"911 telecommunicators do extraordinary work managing millions of emergencies with little more than a voice connection", Martin said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, LaDonna Coriell, director of the Marshall County E911 Center, told Local 6 that it can take 20 to 30 seconds before a dispatcher knows the location of the 911 caller.

With the new software updates, this feature will also now be available to the 911 emergency responders now, rather than a few years down the line. Apples four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud.

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