A new Apple patent reveals that the iPhone maker is working on making 911 emergency calls much easier. According to the newly-granted patent, Apple is seeking to leverage the use of fingerprint scanner in its future devices by giving it a new duty—secretly call 911.
Apple was granted on Tuesday the patent, making emergency hotline calls doable in a more discreet way. With a single touch, the technology can be triggered to ask for help via 911. Apple devised a unique configuration on the fingerprint scanner to sense a certain manner of a finger when tapping the scanner in order to trigger a call for help.
In the filing, Apple revealed that this can be done either by a sequence of fingers, the level of force, a gesture (swipe or pinch), or a certain rhythm of touch to the screen. Once the "panic command" is triggered, the device will automatically send the user's location to the 911 responders, even letting the phone livestream the audio or video so that the responders get an idea of what is going on. In addition, the technology being developed could also be used to wake up other forms of mobile command.
Most smartphones today have a system of their own to use emergency calls in dire situations. Apple's new patented system gives users a step ahead of an assailant. More interestingly, if the assailant wants the user to unlock or use the phone, the user can act like unlocking the phone while discreetly calling an emergency hotline.
However, it remains a mystery if Apple is making use of the technology or not. It has been reportedly working on bringing the fingerprint sensor on the display of the iPhone 8 and struggling to find itself in the right the place with this ground breaking innovation. If Apple will be able to deliver the technology with the iPhone 8, it could be in a form of SOS feature that is currently being used on Apple Watch.