Apple is set to launch the next major version of iOS later this year with new digital health features, ARKit 2, and more. While we have already talked a lot about these new features, iOS 12 will also bring somewhat of an important feature — as long as you are in the United States.
With iOS 12, Apple is advancing its Hybridized Emergency Location (HELO) technology to help reduce emergency response times. In iOS 12, when you make an emergency 911 call, your iPhone will automatically share the location of your device with emergency responders. The feature is built on RapidSOS‘ data pipeline system to instantaneously share location data with 911 centers. It’s not clear exactly how many 911 centers will be able to access your location data, but Apple says the system relies on existing, industry-standard protocols and software, so it should be widely available in the United States.
Apple’s HELO tech doesn’t share your exact location — instead, it estimates your location by using your cell tower’s data, as well as other sources like GPS and WiFi Acess Points which can be used by 911 responders. The new system will certainly come in incredibly handy in emergency situations, and here’s to hoping Apple will eventually be able to bring it to other countries.