The Apple event had an unusually dark tone, with an emphasis on emergency features

When apple She held the annual iPhone 13 launch party in 2021, and started with a joyful video featuring jazz dancers celebrating the natural beauty of California (which can be captured with the iPhone’s camera, of course).

smear of Apple iPhone 14 launch This week was even darker. After zooming in on Apple’s headquarters from space, the video began with a video highlighting users who wrote letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook saying they nearly died – but were saved by their Apple Watch calling 911.

“Dear Apple: My dad was flying our little plane to Vermont. I was sleeping in the back seat. I woke up when we crashed into the trees. The plane broke into six pieces and we were miles from civilization in the bitter cold. Then all of a sudden, my Apple Watch started ringing,” Said one of the characters named Hana.

Other characters in the short video recounted stories of falling into a frozen stream, falling into the trap of a garbage compactor, and witnessing a heart attack in a restaurant.

It was to save lives in an emergency Main topic From Apple’s launch this year, many of the most notable new features announced by the company have been safety-oriented.

The most important new iPhone capability this year is called “SOS emergency via satellitewhich can send a message for help even if there’s no cellular service nearby for miles. Users can also share their location with family or friends in the Find My app.

Apple’s example of how the feature works showed a hiker with a broken leg on top of a mountain calling for a helicopter. Later, Apple mentioned winding back roads as another place iPhone users might be out of range.

But this feature can come in handy in outdoor wildlife settings. Wildfires, hurricanes, and other disasters can cut off cellular service, and having the ability to call emergency services or tell your family where you are can be a lifesaver in those circumstances.

Another example: the $799 or more Apple Watch, the Ultra, has an 86-decibel siren that can be heard up to 600 feet away, and compass features that allow the user to replay their steps offline.

As with the satellite feature, Apple has announced it as a useful tool for adventurers in developing countries, but it may also come in handy in normal settings. Imagine sounding an alarm as a deterrent to an attacker, or using the rollback feature to find your way back to your car after a disaster in your community cuts off cellular service.

Apple also announced this week that iPhones and Apple Watches, using motion sensors, can now call 911 if they detect a car accident.

“We really hope you never need it, but you’ll feel a little safer every time you get in the car,” said one Apple presenter, moments before showing images of a driver hitting an airbag in slow motion after a collision. .

Apple launch events are designed to do one thing: increase demand for new Apple products. The company now wants to make the iPhone more “important” to its users with security features, giving users reasons not to switch to competing Android devices.

Will these features significantly increase iPhone adoption and sales? It turns out that Apple has at least considered this possibility in the past.

In a disclosure with the ESG group CDP published in January 2019Apple representatives wrote about the potential business opportunities created by climate change, citing an earlier version of the “SOS” feature as an example of Apple’s work to build features for emergencies.

“With the increasing frequency of severe weather events, consumers may value the immediate and comprehensive availability of reliable mobile computing devices for use in situations where transportation, power, and other services may be temporarily interrupted,” Apple representatives wrote.

Apple cited the 9/11 disaster and “extreme weather events” such as Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Harvey that occur frequently.

“Over time, as people begin to experience extreme weather events with greater frequency, we anticipate an increased need for confidence and preparedness in the personal safety and well-being of their loved ones,” Apple wrote in the statement.

Apple isn’t the only consumer electronics company developing security features for its devices. But Apple devices also have a solid set of health features, such as fall detection for seniors and heart monitoring, underscoring their overall degree of safety.

“The iPhone is there when you need it most,” said one of the presenters at the launch event. “This trust is especially important in moments when your safety is at risk.”

We may be seeing the beginning of a new messaging strategy at Apple: Its devices are the ones you want when things go wrong.

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