Apple patents a feature that could save lives

The patent describes how a user could call 911 by simply using a fingerprint.

Published Wed, Jul 19 2017 11:33 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 11:54 AM CST

In a patent published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Apple describes a feature that could literally save lives.

Apple patents a feature that could save lives |

The tech giant submitted a patent for a feature that would allow users to call emergency services "when a conventional method may not be practical." The patent describes how a user could call 911 by simply using a fingerprint.

It is already possible to call 911 from the lock screen on iOS devices, but this feature would allow users to call the emergency services even if they find themselves in a situation where an assailant or attacker is watching them.

In the patent, Apple states that the phone might look for a particular sequence of fingers, the level of force, a gesture (pinching or swiping), or a certain cadence of taps to the screen which would alert 911.

This feature could also notify the authorities about the user's whereabouts and automatically pull live audio or video from the user's iPhone.

It is unclear when or if Apple plans to build this technology. Not every patent transforms into an actual product, but it's good to see that Apple is thinking about the safety of its users.


Lana has a passion for technology and science. She spends her time looking for the latest and most interesting technology and science news. Her passion is in gadgets, wearables, and other cool and interesting applications of technology or science. She also spends her free time gaming in MMOs like World of Warcraft. She has prior experience covering technology for publications and breaking news. If she’s not doing either, you might just find her exploring the metaverse in VR. Lana wants to expand TweakTown’s coverage of mobile, wearables and gadgets while also bringing her experience with science and general tech to TweakTown. Her area of coverage is around science, technology, smartphones, wearables, and general neat gadgets. She hopes to one day be able to drive around in her self-driving car while she schedules an appointment for a SpaceX trip to the moon on her smartwatch.

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