iPhone 14 series’ satellite connectivity feature that lets you send an SOS message when you do not have cellular network may be coming to countries other than Canada and the US, as per a report. The feature is due to come to these countries in November, Apple announced at the ‘Far Out’ event, which saw the debut of the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The feature is free for the first two years.
As per a report by macprime, the iPhone 14 models’ limited form of satellite connectivity which, when rolled out in November, will allow users to send an SOS message when they do not have cellular connectivity, may be rolled out to other countries. However, there is no information on which countries will get this feature. This is one of the five features we think is great when it comes to saving precious human lives.
iPhone 14 Satellite Connectivity
If you are a hiker lost in the woods or if you sustain an injury that renders you unable to move, you can, in theory, use your iPhone 14 to send an SOS message over a satellite and it could help in your rescue. “Satellites are moving targets with low bandwidth. It can take minutes for messages to get through. Since every second counts, iPhone front-loads a few questions to assess your situation — just tap to respond. Then it shows you where to point to connect to a satellite,” Apple explains.
In order to send an SOS message, the sender must be outdoors with a clear view of the sky. Since satellites are moving rapidly through space, iPhone 14 will assist the sender where to point to maintain your connection — and avoid obstructions such as mountains and heavy foliage. Apple says that in ideal conditions, the message can be sent in less than 15 seconds. Under light foliage, it can take more than a minute. Once connected, the iPhone 14 will automatically send your answers, location, Medical ID (if set up) as well as battery level to a dispatcher.
While researching and writing about this feature previously, we talked to Tarun Pathak from Counterpoint Research. He explained that the feature will be a good thing to have from a user’s point of view “especially in India where it can bring in meaningful developments.” He rightly points that even though the feature is great, operational challenges need to be addressed. “What [happens] after SOS communication is done? Do we have a response team as fast as we have in other countries?,” Pathak told Gadgets 360, while explaining the feasibility of the feature in India.
Apple partnered with Globalstar to support this emergency feature in the new iPhone 14 series. The Cupertino company revealed that it would be allocating $450 million (roughly Rs. 4,000 crores) from its advanced manufacturing fund to support this new feature.