Approximately 80 percent of 911 calls today come from mobile devices, but outdated, landline-era infrastructure often makes it hard for 911 centers to quickly and accurately obtain a mobile caller's location. Apple introduced HELO in 2015, which estimates a mobile 911 caller's location using cell towers and data sources like Global Positioning System and WiFi Access Points.
Apple launched its HELO or Hybridized Emergency Location system in 2015 as part of its answer to this problem.
"Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal", said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, in a statement about the new feature.
Bottom line: this new feature has the potential to be a major, gaming-changing element of iOS 12.
'When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance'. The emergency communications startup shares the location data obtained during a 911 call with the emergency call center. It does this, as you've probably guessed, using the iPhone's readily-available data connection to the internet. The service is free for call centers to implement.
RapidSOS's technology integrates with existing software installed at many 911 centers, which is how they'll receive the data.
If you're anxious about privacy, Apple reassures that only the responding 911 center will have access to your location, and that your information can't be used for non-emergency purposes.
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