IOS 12 Will Share Precise Location Data For 911 Calls

IOS 12 Will Share Precise Location Data For 911 Calls

IOS 12 Will Share Precise Location Data For 911 Calls

Though 80% of emergency calls come from mobile phones, according to Apple, landline-based infrastructure can make it hard for 911 centers to quickly identify a caller's location. Cellphone carriers now share location estimates with emergency dispatchers, but these can be off by as much as a few hundred yards. The service, as you could have guessed from the emergency number mention, is for US users only (Europe has its own 112 number), and works as a supplement to the current AML mapping dispatchers are used to.

With its announcement on Monday, Apple said it will use emergency technology company RapidSOS's Internet Protocol-based data pipeline to quickly and securely share HELO location data with 911 centres, and said this will improve response time when lives and property are at risk.

As 9To5Mac reports, Apple partnered with RapidSOS to offer the company's Next Generation 911 technology as a standard feature of iOS 12.

Apple actually introduced its Hybridized Emergency Location (HELO) feature, which finds the caller's location using cell towers and on-device data sources like Global Positioning System and WiFi Access Points, back in 2015.

The FCC requires carriers to locate callers to within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021. iOS location services are capable of exceeding this requirement today, even in challenging, dense, urban environments.

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With iOS 12, Apple adds security features, performance enhancements, Group FaceTime, ARKit 2, and more.

And, Apple says the data can only be used for emergency purposes, and only the responding 911 center will have access.

'When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance'.

Apple launched its HELO or Hybridized Emergency Location system in 2015 as part of its answer to this problem.

RapidSOS's technology integrates with existing software installed at many 911 centers, which is how they'll receive the data.

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