Apple Watch to Eventually Gain Satellite Connectivity Feature for SOS and Emergency Contacts

Apple plans to bring satellite connectivity to the Apple Watch in the future, which would allow for emergency texting and SOS response features directly on a wearer's wrist, Bloomberg reports.

apple watch emergency sos call feature
Before the iPhone 13 launch last fall, a flurry of reports had suggested the 2021 iPhone lineup would feature "LEO," or satellite connectivity. Satellite connectivity would enable the ‌iPhone‌ to send short messages to emergency contacts over satellite networks without going through a carrier.

The feature ultimately did not materialize in the ‌iPhone 13‌ lineup, but Bloomberg reports today that the feature could launch as early as this year with the iPhone 14. Following its launch on the ‌iPhone‌, Apple is planning to bring the technology over to the Apple Watch.

Apple's plan includes two parts to let users leverage satellite connectivity. The first, called "Emergency Message via Contacts," would let users send short text messages to emergency services and contacts over a satellite network when there is no available cellular signal. The new protocol would appear with gray bubbles inside of the Messages app.

The second component would let users report a crisis, such as a car, boat, or plane crash, to relevant authorities. Per a Bloomberg report from August of last year:

The second emergency feature is focused on letting users report a crisis. The phone will ask what kind of emergency is happening, such as whether it involves a car, boat, plane or fire.

The system is also able to take more specific information, such as a person falling overboard or a ship sinking. It will ask a user if search and rescue services are needed, if there is suspicious behavior or weapons involved, and if a person has suffered a traumatic injury.

As expected, Bloomberg cautions that the feature will be dependent on local regulation and availability, adding "they’re not designed to work in every country."

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

WWPD Avatar
25 months ago


Attachment Image
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mielie Avatar
25 months ago

This is total BS. This would require a large antenna, clear view of the sky, and enough power to make your fingers fall off.
Errrr you’ve heard of satellite phones haven’t you?

Maybe checkout Garmin InReach if you think this technology doesn’t exist in such small sizes….
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Danfango Avatar
25 months ago
I will buy this the day it comes out. I spend a lot of my time in places with no cellular networks.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
t0rqx Avatar
25 months ago

Okay correct me if I'm wrong

I know some luxury watches have this feature, but using this feature costs $$$.

I remember reading a story from 10+ years ago where a guy was lost in the ocean or a forest and he activated his SOS and it cost tens of thousands of dollars...?
Thats where the Apple Health+ subscription kicks in.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jimothyGator Avatar
25 months ago

Clear view of the sky yes, large antenna NO, power to make your finger fall off, also no, see Garmin device ('https://www.rei.com/product/140110/garmin-inreach-mini?sku=1401100001&store=56&cm_mmc=PLA_Google%7C21700000001700551_1401100001%7C92700057791438908%7CNB%7C71700000074091798&gclid=Cj0KCQjwxtSSBhDYARIsAEn0thQwrJZOyxRMLxyflg1_bkAFWq--QBmgLythJScp3oJVREwTLoyGp_waApj4EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds') (3.9x2x1 inch, weights in at 3.5oz), most of it is taken up by display, and probably the protective layers.

Iridium Constellation (been in operation since 1998) has been doing this for YEARS, their device are small when needed, people seems to forget that there ARE constellations (multiples of them) before Starlink, and all the other new comers.
I want this to be true, as a backpacker, but I doubt it. The Garmin inReach mini is considerably larger than the Apple Watch, and it includes a large* antenna.

* Relative to the hidden antennas of a modern phone and Apple Watch, though small compared to a CB radio antenna, for example.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xyz369 Avatar
25 months ago
Cool, this feature will actually be able to save a person somewhere in the mountains where there is no signal.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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