Devices like the Apple Watch already make it easier to keep track of our health. Now, Apple has an idea that could leverage the watch’s health sensors and communication capabilities in emergency situations.
A new Apple patent application uncovered by Apple Insider describes a feature that could see the Cupertino, Calif. firm’s smartwatch call for help if it thinks the wearer is having a medical emergency.
The Apple Watch would detect a change — either in the user’s body or in the environment around it — and would then push a signal to your phone that would tell it to call for help. Apple Watch owners would be able to create a list of pre-designated contacts that should be alerted in case of a dire situation.
These “care” lists would have two levels, according to the patent application: one that includes family members, friends and other personal contacts, and another that would include 911 and emergency services.
It’s unclear if a feature like this will ever actually arrive on the Apple Watch, as companies often file to protect ideas that don’t make their way to market. But the application reveals one avenue Apple may be considering to expand the Apple Watch’s feature set.
- Volodymyr Zelensky and the Spirit of Ukraine: TIME's 2022 Person of the Year
- Mickey Guyton Is TIME's 2022 Breakthrough Artist of the Year
- The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2022
- Column: What Elon Musk Gets Wrong About Free Speech
- The Forgotten Story of One of the First U.S. Soldiers Killed Overseas After Pearl Harbor
- Why You're More Likely to Get Sick in the Winter, According to New Research
- Column: What the Protests Tell Us About China's Future
- 18 Last-Minute Gifts for Everyone on Your List