What it is: The next version of watchOS will allow the Apple Watch to call emergency services in different countries.
If you remember watching old TV commercials, there used to be one where an old lady would fall on the ground and yell, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Unfortunately, older people falling and being trapped on the floor is an all too common occurrence. Carrying a mobile phone around can help, but if you forget your mobile phone or if it’s out of reach when you fall, it still won’t help you.
That’s what makes the Apple Watch so useful. Because it’s strapped to your wrist at all times, you can’t lose it as easily as you might lose or misplace a mobile phone. If you need help while wearing an Apple Watch, you can call for help directly from your wrist. If you happen to travel to another country, the Apple Watch is smart enough to know which emergency service to call based on your current location.
One drawback of this feature might be the need to link an Apple Watch to a cellular phone network. Right now, you need to link an Apple Watch to an iPhone, but future Apple Watch models may be able to access a cellular network on its own, which would make emergency service calling far more useful.
While there are undoubtedly similar wearable devices that let you call emergency services from your wrist, the Apple Watch can do that and so much more. You can choose to wear a dedicated emergency services device or you can wear an Apple Watch that can do the same function plus give you other features you’ll likely use on a daily basis as well. Because of its versatility, more people will likely use an Apple Watch.
Of course, the Apple Watch isn’t just for senior citizens at risk of falling and being unable to get back up on their own. Both young and old can use the emergency services feature. Imagine being out in public and spotting a car accident. In the old days, someone would have to run to a pay phone. Today, someone might call from their mobile phone. Tomorrow, people will be able to use their Apple Watch or mobile phone. In fact, the victim himself might even call for emergency services through an Apple Watch.
This emergency services feature is something that smartphones can’t do as well since it may not be on someone when they need it. Tablets are far less likely to be useful to call emergency services, and laptops and desktop PCs are even less likely to be used for calling emergency services since you need the computer turned on and with you at all times to use such a feature.
Every new type of technology offers unique advantages that previous technology can’t do. Many people reject new technology simply because it can’t exactly duplicate existing technology. When Apple introduced the iPad, people criticized it because it couldn’t do everything a laptop could do, completely ignoring any features an iPad could do that a laptop couldn’t do.
The same pointless criticism has been aimed at the Apple Watch. Because the Apple Watch has such a tiny screen, critics claim it’s useless because it can’t replace a smartphone.
The best way to judge any new technology is to see what features that only it can offer. Calling emergency services is just one unique feature that makes the Apple Watch useful in ways that smartphones, tablets, or laptops could never do as well. There will likely be other unique uses for the Apple Watch as well so if you can see the advantages of those features, you’ll want to get an Apple Watch.
Calling for help is one feature almost everyone can use even if they don’t need it everyday.