Apple had a busy reveal event today. The company revealed the new iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, and its next iteration of their popular Apple Watch. It had a number of interesting new features in the Apple Watch Series 4. One of the most fascinating is the new Apple Watch Fall Detector, which not only detects if you fall down, it can automatically call emergency services if you collapse.
As Apple explained in their big live event, The Series 4 Apple Watch contains a “next generation” accelerometer and gyroscope, with 2x dynamic range, samples motion data 8x faster than the previous Series 3, and can measure up to 32 g-forces. As Apple themselves joked that you “probably have no idea what that means, but we do, and it allows us to do something new.”
The “new” thing they reference is a Fall Detector. Falls, as Apple points out, are one of the leading causes of injuries and the Apple Watch Series 4 can detect such tumbles. They captured data from “thousands” of people, and learned that there’s “a repeatable motion pattern” which happens when we fall. The new tech can identify these patterns when they happen, through wrist trajectory and acceleration.
After the fall, the watch puts an alert on the screen, which you can see below. It reads, “It looks like you’ve taken a hard fall,” to which the usual response would be, “Yes, I noticed, thank you watch.” However, if you are injured in the fall, you can send out an emergency SOS which will be sent to the appropriate emergency services. If you do not respond to the alert and the Apple Watch senses you are immobile for more than one minute, it will automatically call emergency services and sends a message with your location to your urgent contacts.
The Apple Watch Series 4 has been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the U.S. to be allowed for use as a medical device. It will be available to pre-order this Friday, which will ship on September 21. It’s priced from $399 for the GPS version and $499 for the more advanced model with LTE.