Apple is reportedly looking into developing a location based emergency app for the iPhone so that users have easy access to emergency services when using the device. Right now, the only emergency feature the iPhone has is local emergency alerts. Other than that, users can dial the police in their region using the Phone app.
The new emergency feature was a patent filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office called “Location-Based Emergency Information” which originated as early as 2007. The feature was also reportedly created in part by Scott Forstall, Apple’s former iOS chief who was removed after issues with Maps and Siri as well as inventors Gregory N. Christie, Robert E. Borchers, and Imran A. Chaudhri.
When a person travels abroad, emergencies can occur. For example, the person can become injured in an accident, be a victim of a crime, or lose their travel documents. In those situations, having knowledge of contact information for local emergency services or the pertinent consular services can be beneficial.
Apple is developing this emergency application, because the company believes that users that travel to multiple cities or countries would neglect to gather the proper emergency numbers for that area. As a result, Apple would make the feature location based and gather the information in case users needed assistance from the medical, police or fire departments.
The feature operates in the style of a regular app icon but when pressed, would give users the option to contact different emergency departments, such as medical or police. This would come in handy, particularly when users are traveling internationally, or even in the United States, where one must dial 9-1-1 and then determine with the operator what service is needed.