Emergency SOS via Satellite connectivity is exclusive to the iPhone 14 series.
Apple announced the new iPhone 14 and 14 Pro series earlier this year. The new models received some incremental improvements over the outgoing models. The new iPhones also got a new feature called Emergency SOS via satellite connectivity. It essentially helps users connect with emergency services when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection in place. The feature was not available out of the box. However, Apple rolled out support for its new iPhone 14 series feature in November 2022 in the US and Canada. The feature is slated to be available in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK in December.
It is been a few days since the availability of the new feature and it has turned out to be a lifesaver for a man in Alaska, USA. A MacRumors report shared details about an incident where a man was stranded in a rural area in Alaska and was saved by the satellite connectivity feature.
How the iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saved a Life
The report reveals that the Alaska State Troopers received an alert in the early hours of the morning on December 1 about a man stranded while travelling on a snow machine from Noorvik to Kotzebue. The man did not have any cellular connectivity and enabled the Emergency SOS via satellite feature on his iPhone 14 to alert authorities.
Soon after, the Alaska State Troopers, local search and rescue teams, the Northwest Arctic Borough Search and Rescue Coordinator and Apple Emergency Response Center worked together to help the stranded man. The team deployed four volunteer searchers to the Nimiuk Point area directly to the GPS coordinates provided by the Apple Emergency Response Center. He was then located and transported to Kotzebue by the volunteer search team. Fortunately, there were no injuries.
Apple previously stated that satellite connection might not work in places above 62° latitude, such as northern parts of Canada and Alaska. The MacRumours report, however, stated that the feature worked in Noorvik and Kotzebue, which are close to 69° latitude.
All four iPhone 14 models, namely the iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max support the emergency feature. They use a combination of custom-designed components and software to make the feature work.
With a satellite connection, the experience is different than sending or receiving a message via cellular. Apple says that in ideal conditions with a direct view of the sky and the horizon, a message might take 15 seconds to send, and over a minute to send under trees with light or medium foliage. Emergency SOS via satellite is free for two years after the activation of iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro.