CLEAR WATER, Wis. (WEAU) – An iPhone feature meant to be useful in an emergency has proven to be anything but at times.
“Tie up our resources. Our message to people is if you’re going to be participating in these activities, be aware that your phone could be calling 911 when it’s not an emergency and could block someone who is having an emergency,” Sheriff Brent Waak said. . .
Its Polk County office posted a notice on social media about the fault detection feature on the iPhone.
AuGust Ringelstetter, who works as an Apple technician at MacMan in Eau Claire, explains the feature.
“Crash detection is relatively new actually. It is only available on iPhone 14, 14 pro, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra,” Ringelstetter said.
He said that there is a small window of time that the use has to avoid the call for help if the feature is activated.
“If you respond within those 20 seconds, it can prevent you from calling emergency services,” Ringelstetter said.
The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office also posted a notice about the feature, urging users to pay attention.
“Just be receptive. We have an obligation to make sure she’s okay,” Sheriff Travis Hakes said.
Ringelstetter suggests this for users with the feature turned on.
“If you’re going somewhere where you’re going to go fast and stop or if there’s heavy bumps, crashes and things like that, you might want to turn crash detection off,” Ringelstetter said.
Law enforcement officials hope that false alarms do not lead to the serious mistake of ignoring someone who really needs it.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re getting so many false alarms that it’s going to become a situation where, if there was a true emergency, people might not…think ‘oh, it’s just another false alarm,’” the sheriff said. Waak.
“We’d rather have the system in place and know it works, and answer a thousand unintentional calls, than not answer that one call that we really needed,” Sheriff Hakes said.
Polk County Sheriff Waak said the same problem is likely to occur in the summer with those riding ATVs.
Ringelstetter said that Apple is still working on updates to the fault detection feature. You can follow the stores blog here.
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