Apple’s “Mobile Emergency Attack” patent

Apple filed a patent whereby a mobile device can automatically summon help when it detects that a user is in distress.

A mobile communication device can be placed into an “attack detection mode.” While the device is in attack detection mode, certain events can cause the device to summon assistance automatically. For example, while the device is in attack detection mode, if the device’s user ceases to interact with the device, then the device can automatically place a telephone call to emergency services (e.g., by calling 911). For another example, while the device is in attack detection mode, if an accelerometer contained within the device detects a sudden shock, then the device similarly can automatically place a telephone call to emergency services. After detecting a probable emergency situation, the mobile device can responsively and continuously emit a loud audible alarm through the device’s speakers at maximum volume regardless of the device’s current silence or volume settings, in an effort to attract help from other people who may be nearby.

This is a fascinating idea. Seems to me this would be incredibly useful if I was wearing some sort of device that could measure my heart rate or glucose level (if I was diabetic) and call for help if I went down. If this does turn out to be a use case, I hope the license terms are reasonable so everyone can use this.

[Via AppleInsider]



  • shawkin

    I experienced an armed robbery recently. If my phone had emitted a sudden, loud noise when there was gun pointed at my chest, I would suspect that I would have been shot.

    • Dave Mark

      Wow! That’s awful and certainly a thoughtful point.