Small Actions: Making 911 Easier for Cellphones

by Bob Hughes on October 2, 2015

Bob Hughes · Small Actions Technology · October 02, 2015

Pendulum in Action, 911, cellphones, save lives, technologyIt turns out that cellphones aren’t great for making 911 calls. Calls get dropped, locations are difficult to pinpoint since signals are bounced around to different towers, and those in need of emergency assistance can be left without aid for a long time. And what if you don’t have a cell connection? That might not matter soon. It might soon be possible to connect to 911 through Bluetooth, wi-fi, SMS, among others, to reach first responders, thanks to two young entrepreneurs.

Their startup RapidSOS offers a smartphone app, One-Touch-911, that easily connects cellphone callers with 911 dispatch centers, according to an article in the New York Times.

The app from RapidSOS should launch later this year, according to its developers, Michael Martin and Nick Horelik. Martin came up with the idea for the app after he learned that his father had remained without assistance for two hours following a fall off a snowy roof, because his cellphone service couldn’t connect him to 911 responders.

The app is pretty sophisticated, and should work in many locations around the world. According to the Times article, “With the tap of an icon on a smartphone, the call is connected to the nearest three-digit emergency number, so it will work not only in North America but also in 135 countries, and it can also transmit via Wi-Fi. Included in the free app are features to send medical information and pictures and video, language translation aids and geography-based alerts that provide instructions for users in emergency situations.”

This video explains the system:

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It took a potential fatal accident for two enterprising entrepreneurs to come up with a solution to a problem that has plagued cellphone users. As a result, a simple app can help save thousands of lives.


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