Pixels, some Android phones will be able to make automated emergency calls

JC Torres - Aug 1, 2019, 10:56 pm CDT
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Pixels, some Android phones will be able to make automated emergency calls

Emergency calls can be literal life savers but their effectiveness largely depends on the operator getting clear information from the caller. That, in turn, depends on the caller’s ability to speak out that information. There are times, however, when the caller isn’t even able to speak. For that reason, Google is implementing a new feature in its phone apps for Pixel phones and some Android phones that could automatically speak those details.

The phone app will present three buttons for Medical, Fire, and Police. Pressing one of those will initiate a voice call to the appropriate emergency service. Google will then speak out the the information the operator needs like the address and name of the caller. It will also inform the operator that the caller isn’t able to speak for one reason or another.

This is almost similar to Google Duplex inquiring and making reservations but with a simpler information and details. It simply takes the phone’s location to give the details needed by the operator. Google clarifies that this is pretty much the same data that is automatically sent to emergency services anyway so it’s not much of a privacy risk in that sense.

That said, Google also says that the information stays on the device only. Users can also opt to speak to the operator even after the call has been placed. The service also functions whether or not the phone has a data connection.

It’s definitely a nice feature to have that puts to good news the data that Android phones are already has about users. Unfortunately, the service will unsurprisingly be implemented in the US only for now and will first roll out to Pixel phones. Some Android phones will also receive the update but Google is silent on which ones.


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