Google Pixel Phone App Can Talk to 911 for You
Emergencies come in many different forms and sometimes these circumstances can be very challenging. Google is adding a new emergency calling feature to its first-party Pixel Phone App that lets you contact 911 (or whichever emergency number your country uses) without having to actually speak.
This feature will be very useful when one is unable to verbally communicate with the operator. Whether one is injured, in a dangerous situation or having a speech impairment, Google wants to make sure all its users can request the help they urgently need. The unnamed feature will be available in Google’s phone app on Pixel and other select Android devices in future.
Soon, one will be able to share information highlighting the assistance you need with your location to the emergency operator without having to utter a word. All you have to do is tap on “Medical”, “Fire”, or “Police” button during the emergency and the message you convey will be sent to the operator through an automated voice service.
If you tap on the medical button, the message conveyed to the operator will be as follows: “You are being contacted by an automated voice service initiated by the caller. The caller may be unable to speak or hear. My locations is [address]. I require medical assistance.”
Google Pixel Phone App
This service will “work on device”. Meaning the information stays between you and the emergency services. Interesting, the service functions whether you have a data connection or not. After activating the device, you can speak directly to the operator if you wish.
When you send the message to the operator, the location, coming from your phone’s GPS will have already been shared. This feature was created to focus on expanding emergency location service in Android to the US. Locating someone accurately during an emergency call is crucial for reducing response time. Which can be the difference between life and death. More than 80% of emergency calls come from mobile devices. Locating the devices can be a challenge. Traditional emergency location technologies can fall indoors or have a radius too big to be useful.
Emergency Location Service (ELS) in Android provides a quicker, more accurate location to emergency communications centers when an Android user initiates an emergency call. This helps save lives by shortening emergency response times as it provides a more accurate location. It can locate both indoors and outdoors by using a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, mobile networks and sensors. It applies the same high-accuracy location setup when using Google Maps.
Emergency Call Location
Additional information is also provided via the caller’s Plus Code. Plus Code is a clever and reliable way to help emergency services accurately locate a unique address. It makes it easier to send the location in a position away from buildings. By using a code that is shorter than a GPS reading.
Another similar system to Plus Code is What3Words which, just like its name suggests, uses three words to point out a specific spot. What3Words is a geocoding application that divides the world into 57 trillion 3X3 meter squares. Each one has its very own three-word address so that the user can describe their exact locations with precision.
What3Words said if a person calls for help and doesn’t have the app, the operator on the other side can simply send an automated SMS with a link to the What3Words map on its mobile site. The caller will then be able to see their location and read the corresponding three-word address.
This Google App feature is an expansion of its default Phone app for Pixel devices which drives back to 2017 which automatically displays a location card on the dialling screen when calling an emergency number. This is done to make it easier to relay information to the responders directly to the phone app. As for the latest text-to-speech system, it makes it even easier to eliminate the need for the person in an emergency situation to be read out that information.
This feature will be available in the US in the coming months starting with Pixel phones. Google has been collecting feedback from public safety organizations, such as the National Emergency Number Association to ensure this feature is as helpful as possible.
Google, however, did not provide any additional information about the release dates or about other compatible handsets.