Google introduces Emergency SOS feature for Wear OS

Google will soon begin rolling out an Emergency SOS feature on Wear OS. It is going to work similarly to the one found on Android smartphones and will enable users to easily contact their relatives or the public authorities directly via their smartwatch in the case of an emergency.

Amidst the slew of exciting hardware announcements that took place during the I/O 2022 keynote event, it is easy to see how some less flashy software tweaks could stay under the radar. Nevertheless, even if an Emergency SOS feature for Wear OS is not particularly thrilling, it is still no less important than that Pixel everyone is talking about.

Emergency SOS in Android is by no means a new concept. Virtually every smartphone has their equivalent of such an option. The novelty lies in the fact that this feature will now be available for wearables with Wear OS as well. On Android phones, the user must press the power button 5 consecutive times to activate Emergency SOS. It’s not clear how the feature could be triggered in Wear OS, but a similar shortcut, with a voice command as an alternative method, sounds likely.Emergency SOS for Wear OS will function similarly to the one for Android. In order to enable it the user must begin by filling in the necessary contact details. Only once this has been done will they have the option to activate Emergency SOS. It is important to note that, as this is ultimately a smartwatch feature, in order for it to be used, the wearable must be linked with a smartphone with cellular connectivity, if the wearable does not support LTE.

Turning Emergency SOS on will prompt users to select whom they would like to contact (either a particular contact or the emergency services directly). They will easily be able to cancel the call via a big red button on the main watch screen, and additional options will be provided once the call has ended.

For the time being, it is unclear when exactly this feature will make its debut. Apple has already implemented a similar option in the Apple Watch. Based on Google’s track record, it could take a while before Emergency SOS makes its way to Wear OS. At the very least, we know it is coming.

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