Apple announced the new iPhone 14 and 14 Pro series earlier this year. The new models received some incremental improvements over the outgoing models. The new iPhones also got a new feature called Emergency SOS via satellite connectivity. Essentially, it helps users connect with emergency services when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection. The function was not available out of the box. However, Apple launched support for its new iPhone 14 series feature in November 2022 in the US and Canada. The feature is scheduled to be available in France, Germany, Ireland and the UK in December.
It’s been a few days since the availability of the new feature and it turned out to be a lifeline for a man in Alaska, USA. A report from MacRumors shared details about an incident where a man was stranded in rural Alaska and was saved by the satellite connectivity feature.
How the iPhone 14’s satellite emergency SOS feature saved a life
The report reveals that Alaska State Troopers received an alert in the early morning hours of December 1 about a man stranded while riding a snow machine from Noorvik to Kotzebue. The man had no cellular connectivity and activated the Emergency SOS feature via satellite on his iPhone 14 to alert authorities.
Shortly thereafter, Alaska State Police, local search and rescue teams, the Northwest Arctic District Search and Rescue Coordinator, and the Apple Emergency Response Center worked together to help the stranded man. The team deployed four volunteer searchers to the Nimiuk Point area directly to the GPS coordinates provided by the Apple Emergency Response Center. He was later located and transported to Kotzebue by the volunteer search team. Fortunately, there were no injuries.
Apple previously stated that the satellite connection may not work in places above 62° latitude, such as northern Canada and Alaska. However, the MacRumours report indicated that the feature worked in Noorvik and Kotzebue, which are near 69° latitude.
All four iPhone 14 models, namely the iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max, support the emergency feature. They use a combination of custom-designed components and software to make the feature work.
With a satellite connection, the experience is different from sending or receiving a message via cell phone. Apple says that under ideal conditions with a direct view of the sky and horizon, it can take 15 seconds for a message to send and more than a minute to send under trees with light to medium foliage. Satellite Emergency SOS is free for two years after activation of iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro.
Thanks for reading to the end of this article. For more informative and exclusive tech content, please like our Facebook page.