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  • 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.

    RITA 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.

    Sources: Gigaom
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Siri Could Make the 911 System More Efficient started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 20 Comments
    1. killertaz17's Avatar
      killertaz17 -
      That would be awesome!!!
    1. hckyxc4pt4in's Avatar
      hckyxc4pt4in -
      I personally don't like it because there is something about being in an emergency and hearing another humans voice saying, "There is help on the way." I don't think I could trust that a computer would make the call (what happens if there is a bug or glitch).
    1. k9estrada's Avatar
      k9estrada -
      many lives will be saves!!!
    1. Stumbows's Avatar
      Stumbows -
      What about the example you gave: "Sometimes in a situation where voice calls are futile and silence is necessary, a text message could make a better line of communication." Then you go on to talk about how we can talk to Siri instead. Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?
    1. Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
      Anthony Bouchard -
      Quote Originally Posted by Stumbows View Post
      What about the example you gave: "Sometimes in a situation where voice calls are futile and silence is necessary, a text message could make a better line of communication." Then you go on to talk about how we can talk to Siri instead. Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?
      Well that was to explain how 911 is working to allow text messages to bring in reports. But remember that Siri is only for Apple's handset right now. So it's not like 911 will ever be fully based on Siri. What about Android devices? Maybe they can just text message or call. Apple users always have that choice too.
    1. Hardcoredrummer1996's Avatar
      Hardcoredrummer1996 -
      I think this would be a great idea as well. But I have to say, it would be very dangerous for awhile due to glitches and misunderstandings.
      For example
      Say your talking about a story like your house caught fire. And Siri hears it. You got the FD at your house cause it thought that a fire happens.

      But I do think that texting should be brought into 911 because, if you have a burgerly. And the guy is armed. He/she hears you calling 911:. You could be dead. But if your texting 911. He/she will have a less of a chance of knowing.
    1. davesnothere11's Avatar
      davesnothere11 -
      Who needs 911 when you have Siri?

      "Siri, how do I fix my broken leg?"
      or
      "Siri, how do I make a gun out of a toothbrush to stop the home invasion that is in progress?"

      The possibilities are endless
    1. R.Mortera's Avatar
      R.Mortera -
      That's dope.
    1. BenderRodriguez's Avatar
      BenderRodriguez -
      Good article Anthony
      Very well written and informative
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      I wonder if Apple will try to patent Siri version of "I've fallen and I can't get up"Knowing Apple they will make it "iFallen and I can't get up" then patent iFallen as their "original" idea.
    1. 09gsxr600boy's Avatar
      09gsxr600boy -
      I work in 911 communications. 911 technology is ever changing and there are always new things. One of the biggest issues we face with someone calling for help is that they don't know there location. Just the fact of being able to have your phone call help for you is another leap forward.
    1. c0deName_ZERO's Avatar
      c0deName_ZERO -
      Quote Originally Posted by davesnothere11 View Post
      who needs 911 when you have siri?

      "siri, how do i fix my broken leg?"
      or
      "siri, how do i make a gun out of a toothbrush to stop the home invasion that is in progress?"

      the possibilities are endless
      lmao!!!! I asked siri about guns and she told me nearest gun shop .. I also asked where i could dump a body and she asked me and gave me options of swamps lakes, ect .....endless possibilities
    1. thomaspeter's Avatar
      thomaspeter -
      This is indeed a great innovation in the technology that we can call the 911 via voice function too through siri. I havent tried it myself but I just hope this will work perfectly and we will be able to use this function in the hour of need.
    1. iFanaddic's Avatar
      iFanaddic -
      i work in 911 communications as well... And for a project like this to ever be considered siri would need to be connected to a central. (much like GM and their Onstar services) the 911 centrals are not gonna start conversating with a synthetic voice which could very well be a prank.

      In addition to that, a crutial part off 911 communications is the questionning we do in order to protect you and the people who are coming to help/save you. For example, as soon as a call comes in for a car accident im gonna send someone. But I need to know what's going on
      car -VS- car
      car -VS- bike
      car -VS- walker
      car -VS- school bus
      car -VS- a truck that transport hazardous material (ex: gas)
      car -VS- car -VS- car
      ...

      if anyone is trapped, injured, unconscious? chemical spilling? smoke? someone ejected out of a vehicle? and so on... the person who activated siri could very well speak to me instead. Asking questions insures that the person gets the right amount of resources, and not just the bare minimum, or way to much in some cases. 911 operators are paid to judge the gravity of every single situation, and prioritize accordingly.

      From what I have heard texting the 911 will be possible in a near future.. Im sure its already possible in some places in the world though and I do think that centrals could benefit from better geo tracking.
    1. M3mph1s's Avatar
      M3mph1s -
      I've always thought being able to text 911 could be useful in some cases.

      More than that, I've always wondered why 911 doesn't use the GPS location on your phone to it's advantage. I think this needs to be possible.

      In my area 911 is useless as-is. If I'm hurt I'll find my way to a hospital, rather than waiting an hour for them to get un-lost and show up with a police cruiser responding to a broken leg. I was witness to a horrific accident involving a drunk driver and another car with a driver and two young children. I called 911, explained exactly what happened, how many people were involved/hurt, told them it was directly in front of Miller Elementary School (only school in those city limits at the time), at the intersection of Blah and Blah street. 20 minutes later I called back saying we still needed medical attention and help, they responded that they didn't know where to go, so nobody had been dispatched. I described the location and situation all over again and another 10 minutes later, a lone police car showed up. Mind you, we were 4 minutes away from the police/fire station driving the speed limit. Once the officer got there he realized the gravity of the situation and called in the appropriate help.

      Hell, my first accident the dispatcher wanted to argue over which city limits I was in. The accident was dead center of an intersection that served as the city boundary. After telling her all this she still wanted to know which side of the intersection I was closest to. I finally just said, "Someone is hurt, send help" and hung up.
    1. LanCo Rider's Avatar
      LanCo Rider -
      Quote Originally Posted by iFanaddic View Post
      i work in 911 communications as well... And for a project like this to ever be considered siri would need to be connected to a central. (much like GM and their Onstar services) the 911 centrals are not gonna start conversating with a synthetic voice which could very well be a prank.

      In addition to that, a crutial part off 911 communications is the questionning we do in order to protect you and the people who are coming to help/save you. For example, as soon as a call comes in for a car accident im gonna send someone. But I need to know what's going on
      car -VS- car
      car -VS- bike
      car -VS- walker
      car -VS- school bus
      car -VS- a truck that transport hazardous material (ex: gas)
      car -VS- car -VS- car
      ...

      if anyone is trapped, injured, unconscious? chemical spilling? smoke? someone ejected out of a vehicle? and so on... the person who activated siri could very well speak to me instead. Asking questions insures that the person gets the right amount of resources, and not just the bare minimum, or way to much in some cases. 911 operators are paid to judge the gravity of every single situation, and prioritize accordingly.

      From what I have heard texting the 911 will be possible in a near future.. Im sure its already possible in some places in the world though and I do think that centrals could benefit from better geo tracking.
      I am an EMT full time so I deal pretty closely with this as well. I believe that our county can use a cell phone to figure out an approximate location probably based off of cell towers used. I cannot remember what it's called though. I'm sure it's very crude though.

      I do agree that being able to text a dispatch center would be a great idea.
    1. punchyouinthenuts's Avatar
      punchyouinthenuts -
      then who was phone?
    1. metaserph's Avatar
      metaserph -
      Perhaps using GPS with Location Services, which can be enabled to the camera can be used to determine and evaluate situations. If you're in an accident or are reporting one and can take a pic with time stamp and location, it might provide very preliminary data to determine it's not a prank and the conditions on the scene. Just thoughts...
    1. GmAz's Avatar
      GmAz -
      sucks for those with accents and siri cant understand them. stupid idea.
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      Quote Originally Posted by LanCo Rider View Post
      I am an EMT full time so I deal pretty closely with this as well. I believe that our county can use a cell phone to figure out an approximate location probably based off of cell towers used. I cannot remember what it's called though. I'm sure it's very crude though.

      I do agree that being able to text a dispatch center would be a great idea.
      I have a number of friends who are deaf (or sufficiently hearing-impaired that phone conversations are useless). Right now, the ONLY way they can reach 911 in an emergency, is text me (or some other hearing-able friend) who can call 911 for them.

      ...
      (for non-emergency calls they have VRS and other things, but that only works if you're at home and in front of the computer, etc)