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Apple Watch called 911 when Chandler man was left unresponsive

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The technology around your wrist could play a role in a matter of life or death.

On April 23, the Chandler Police Department’s Communications Center received a 911 call from a computer-enhanced voice indicating an Apple Watch user had fallen and was not responding.

The voice provided near-exact latitude and longitude coordinates of the man’s location to first responders.

Patrol officers and the Chandler Fire Department were dispatched to the location. They found the man wearing the Apple Watch had fainted and collapsed.

“He would never have been able to provide us his location or any information on what was going on,” said dispatch supervisor Adriana Cacciola. “He wasn’t even aware that any help was coming until we were already there.”

If an Apple Watch Series 4 or later detects a hard fall while the user is wearing the watch, it taps the person on the wrist, sounds an alarm and displays an alert, according to the company website.

The user can choose to contact emergency services or dismiss the alert by pressing an option presented on the watch.

If it detects that the person has been immobile for roughly a minute, the watch will call automatically call 911.

“Technology is there to help, especially if there is an emergency this could save someone’s life and that’s what we are looking for — is to help when you can’t tell us what you need,” Cacciola said.

The Chandler Police Department encourages owners to do research on smart devices to see what features and functions the items are capable of and how they could help in times of emergency.

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