Earlier this week, Google launched a new Android service called Emergency Location Service. The new service stays true to its name by helping its user be able to get emergency assistance by sending a report of your phone's geographic location data so first responders may be able to locate you.
When the new service was announced, its product manager Akshay Kannan related that the service is very useful especially in times of an emergency when it is difficult for most people to relay the information they need because they are frightened or rattled. Kannan pointed out that about 70 percent of emergency calls are usually done on a mobile phone. By giving out the accurate emergency location, Kannan believes that it could be a big difference between life and death.
Emergency Location Service works by dialing an emergency service number; pretty much like 911. The Android device then determines your exact location by collecting data from the nearest cell tower, GPS, and Wi-Fi. The service is said to work both indoors and outdoors, and is far more reliable compared to the traditional emergency technologies being used. Since the current Enhanced 911 service makes use of assisted GPS and cell tower location, it could result to an approximate value which is often a radii of several kilometers. With Emergency Location Service, your coordinates are transmitted to emergency services both directly or via your mobile network. Kannan promises that Google never gets to see or handle this location.
As of this writing, the service is already available on devices that run on Android 2.3 and up; this means that every Android phone from 2011 onwards has the service running already. In order to enable the service, there is no further work that needs to be done. The service automatically activates once a supported network has been detected. On Monday, the service was launched in the UK and Estonia. Google is said to be working on making the service available to other countries in the near future.