Apple Watch Sends Many False Emergency Calls: Police Authorities Complaining

The automatic emergency call system of the Apple Watch should and can save lives, but the smart accident function also has a downside for emergency services. Now there is a warning from the UK that more and more time is being invested in investigating silent emergency calls.

Problem with Accident features

If the Apple Watch detects that the wearer has been involved in an accident or has fallen, it can automatically trigger an emergency call. According to the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC), precisely such automated emergency calls are becoming an ever-increasing problem in the UK. Accordingly, the function has “significant effects” on the number of calls received by the police forces in the country. The organization, which represents police executives, said, according to The Telegraph, “emergency services nationwide are experiencing a record number of 911 calls” made in this way.

The problem with those “silent calls” made by smartwatches triggered: As the NPCC explains, without feedback, the caseworkers are forced to invest valuable time to determine the cause of the emergency call themselves. “Emergency calls where the operator can’t hear anyone on the line (silent calls) are never simply ignored,” a spokesman said.

As a negative example, Devon and Cornwall Police received 169 such “silent calls” in a single night. On average, it takes around 20 minutes to clearly clarify whether the emergency call was triggered accidentally or with justification. Of course, this ties up important capacities of the clerks and emergency services.

Since Apple introduced the emergency call function, there have been repeated reports of false alarms. The Apple Watch registered a roller coaster ride and a jerky descent on the ski slope as an accident and automatically notified the emergency services. Recently there have been reports that even an overly ambitious workout can trigger automatic emergency calls.

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