Siri Could Make the 911 System More Efficient
Siri might become an efficient way to get ahold of 911.
Traditionally, getting help from 911 requires a telephone. Some people have cell phones, some people don't – but no matter what, we've always been able to get ahold of 911 when we needed to whether a generous friend who was with us let us use their pocketed cell phone, or we walked into a nearby public location to use a landline. The system that calling 911 offers is representative support on the other line that will answer your call and ask for information regarding why you are calling and who you are. That's going to start changing pretty soon as technology of the information ages brings more efficient forms of communication of information to us.
has some information as to what some problems with the current 911 system are. The Web Site explains how 911 is, "designed around telephone technology and cannot handle the text, data, images and video" which is, "increasingly common" and is, "critical to future transportation safety and mobility advances." So what it means is that mobile phones today are much more advanced than they were in the past couple of decades and that the current medium for reaching 911 is becoming obsolete with the multiple capabilities of today's mini-computer smartphones. Much of a smartphone's capabilities are wasted with 911's abilities. A smartphone can have a camera, text messaging, and media messaging on top of voice calls. So 911 has to bring their technology up to date to allow contact with people using those mediums. Sometimes in a situation where voice calls are futile and silence is necessary, a text message could make a better line of communication. The ability of smartphones to include pictures or video with a text message makes that feature even more powerful – and to build on top of that, you can use geo-tagging to let the person on the other end of the 911 session know your location.
So what can Apple do to make this lean in their favor?
User: "Siri, emergency."
Siri: "911 reached. What is your emergency, also, should I share your location and contact information?
User: "Car accident. Share my information."
Siri: "Information sent successfully, police and/or rescue personel are on the way."
While not a reality at this point in time, Siri could bring a major change to how 911 works for Apple handset users. Imagine being able to do this from any Wi-Fi access point using any of your iDevices, or from anywhere you have service on an iPad or iPhone. You wouldn't need to spend any time waiting for a person on the other line to ask questions, your information would just be automatically pushed out to authorities at your command. A few minutes later, rescue is on the ground and fully prepared for your problem. Granted not all of Apple's devices have Siri yet, chances are that in the future Apple will roll out the feature in more than just the iPhone. On top of that, it's likely that jailbroken devices will sometime in the future have Siri as well – so no one would necessarily need to be at a disadvantage.
If you've fallen or have been injured and are incapable of holding a phone to your ear, this could potentially save your life. The idea that talking to our handsets comes right out of science fiction makes all of this seem like a huge joke. From a real standpoint however, the technology is here. We can talk with our devices. We can send messages, videos, and photos over the air to each other. We are no longer wired down to simply dialing 911 on a telephone to reach out for help.
Don't you think it's time that we adopt today's technology to bring rescue to those who need it? Share in the comments below.