The Apple Watch is seen as a fitness and lifestyle device first and foremost, but the smartwatch also has potentially life-saving features programmed within it. An American woman named Kacie Anderson found this out in a moment of crisis late last year when she got into a car accident with her 9-month-old baby.
Anderson’s ordeal began when she was stopped at a red light and a drunk driver collided with her car from behind. She told Shape that everything inside went airborne and her face smashed into the steering wheel, the headrest, and window. She blacked out for a minute and couldn’t see.
It seems her eyes were wide open but all she could see was black. It was in this state that she tried to reach for her iPhone, but this was naturally difficult with no vision. She realized she had her Apple Watch on at that moment and commanded it to call 911. While she suffered from extensive injuries, brain swelling, and a severe concussion, her son thankfully emerged with minor bruises and scrapes.
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Apple’s Emergency SOS feature is likely what Anderson is referring to. The tool can be activated by long-pressing the Apple Watch’s side button. A countdown is supposed to begin at this point, along with an alert sound. Users can also drag the Emergency SOS slider on the screen to skip to the part where the device calls emergency services.
The Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) doesn’t require an iPhone to be around since it has its own cellular connection, but all other models need an iPhone to be close by or Wi-Fi calling to be set up. It’s not clear which iteration Anderson had on her, but whichever it was, it saved her life.