How to set up an emergency SOS on your smartwatch

While smartwatches could always relay notifications, the ability to make emergency calls was a major step forward in making smartwatches stand-alone devices.

In general, the emergency SOS feature has two features. The first is to call local emergency response personnel if you get stuck. For example, the watch can call 911 if it has a nasty spill and can’t answer the phone. The second is to relay your location to a selected group of trusted contacts. For those who want to keep their cell phone at home, these features can allow your loved ones to find you if you get injured or need help.

You don’t necessarily need a mobile watch to use emergency SOS. However, if you want emergency SOS to be always available, a cellular watch is the best option. Otherwise, you need to keep your smartphone nearby. Otherwise, your watch will need some kind of internet connection via Wi-Fi.

However, just because you have a device that can make an emergency SOS call does not mean that it will be set up automatically. For example, if it’s a feature related to you, you need to specify people as your emergency contacts.

With that in mind, here’s how to set up and use the emergency SOS feature on some of the most popular smartwatches.

Apple watch

You can edit the settings in the Watch app on your iPhone.
Screenshot: Victoria Song / The Verge

Apple Watch has a comprehensive emergency call feature. With the emergency SOS feature, the watch calls and sends your location to a local emergency service. This is not necessarily limited to your home country. If you have an Apple Watch SE or Series 5 or later, you also have international access to emergency services. (However, you need to know which countries are supported before you travel.)

To make an emergency call from your wrist:

  • Press and hold the side button. This is the flat button under the digital crown.
  • You will see three sliders. power off, Medical IDWhen Emergency SOS..
  • Drag Emergency SOS Start a call with the slider.
  • You can also hold down the side button until the countdown begins.

If you want Watch to notify trusted contacts as well, you need to give yourself time to specify who those contacts are. To add / remove emergency contacts:

  • Open health The app on your iPhone.
  • Tap the profile icon in the upper right corner.
  • Tap Medical ID..
  • select edit Scroll down emergency contact..
  • Tap the “+” button to add a contact.
  • Select a trusted person from your contacts.
  • You will be asked to explain your relationship with you.
  • Tap end..
  • In edit mode, you can also press the “-” button to delete someone as an emergency contact.

Tips and things to remember:

  • When you make an emergency call, Apple Watch will continue to share your location with your emergency contacts. Notifications will be sent periodically to notify you of this.You can stop this by tapping Stop sharing When a reminder pops up.
  • If you tend to accidentally press the side button, you can press and hold it to prevent the emergency service from calling automatically.Just go to clock With the iPhone app, My watch In the tab, Emergency SOSTurn off Dial while holding down the side button toggle. This just turns off the shortcut to trigger the automatic call countdown. Hold down the side button, Emergency SOS Call the slider.
  • If you are using the emergency SOS feature abroad, you will not be notified of emergency contacts.

Emergency SOS calls will be sent to WearOS 3 later this year.
Image: The Verge

Wear the OS

In this year’s Google I / O keynote, the company said emergency SOS will be a feature of Wear OS 3. This means that future Google Pixel Watches and other WearOS 3 watches will be able to support emergency calls. We will update this section when the Pixel Watch and Wear OS 3 upgrades arrive in the fall of 2022.

Samsung smartwatch

Samsung’s smartwatches, including the latest Galaxy Watch 4 lineup, do not have Emergency SOS set by default. Not available on Galaxy Fit or Galaxy Fit 2.If a message is displayed Emergency call only On Samsung smartwatches, this shows that you haven’t set up a mobile phone connection and that it only works if you have a mobile phone.

Emergency SOS is not set by default on Samsung smartwatches. You need to enable it yourself.
Image: Samsung

However, Samsung’s emergency SOS does not currently call local emergency services (although it is subject to change when Wear OS 3 comes with emergency SOS functionality in the fall). Instead, call a preselected emergency contact to let them know where you are. Once you’ve set up your contacts, you can activate Emergency SOS by pressing the power button three times quickly.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Open Galaxy wearable App.
  • Tap Clock settings..
  • select Advanced features..
  • Tap SOS..
  • Turn on the labeled toggle When you press the home key three times..
  • There are additions Countdown before sending toggle. When enabled, it adds a 5 second delay so you can cancel it if you accidentally press it.
  • You can optionally turn on the toggle When a hard fall is detected..
  • To select an emergency contact Create a contact Also Select from contacts..
  • under emergency contact The menu also allows you to specify the contact to send the text or call.
  • To specify who will receive the text Send a message to Select a contact.
  • For calls, Call SOS Then select a contact.

Garmin wearable

Garmin, a wearable brand popular with outdoor enthusiasts, has an emergency call version called Assistance. However, assistance is not turned on by default. Also, only certain Garmin smartwatches or trackers, such as the Forerunner 945 LTE, have LTE capabilities. Most Garmin devices require your smartphone to be nearby to alert you to emergency contacts. Also, mobile phones need a viable cellular signal. This should be noted if you are planning a hike, cycling, or running in poorly received areas.

Garmin Connect app[安全機能]menu.
Image: Victoria Song / The Verge

In addition, iOS users need to open the Garmin Connect app and run it in the background. Even if your device is connected via Bluetooth, this feature won’t work unless the Garmin Connect app is open.

Garmin devices come in a variety of form factors, so there is more than one universal way to send an emergency alert. Normally, on Garmin watches, you can activate alerts by pressing and holding the upper left button for about 7 seconds. For trackers, you usually hold down the button until the watch vibrates three times. Still, double-check the triggers for a particular device here.

To set assistance:

  • Open Garmin Connect Smartphone app.
  • For Android users Three stick icons It is in the upper left. For iOS users more The lower right tab.
  • Scroll down Safety and tracking..
  • Tap Safety function..
  • Tap My information Enter the details.
  • Go back to the previous menu and select emergency contact..
  • Tap to add up to 3 contacts Add emergency contact.. Garmin recommends adding more than one.
  • In Emergency call In the menu, you can add a number to call when the assistance function is triggered. However, your smartphone must be nearby and paired with your device to use this feature.

Now that all the settings are complete, there is one simple caveat. Make sure to check regularly who the designated emergency contact is. We recommend that you do this whenever you buy a new watch, move to a new city, experience a farewell, drop out, or lose a trusted contact. Remember: This should not be a feature that you set and forget once.

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