On Wednesday, September 7, 2022, Apple® announced the new versions of the iPhone®: the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro. At a first glance, you may think that these phones don’t look any different than last year’s iPhone 13, and that they don’t seem to have any amazing new features aside from slightly improved cameras.
However, Apple added some new safety features to the new iPhones. The new iPhones have two new safety features: emergency SOS via satellite and crash detection. For most people, being in an area with no cell service and no Wi-Fi is a rarity, so you may never need to use satellites to call for help, but almost all of us can potentially benefit from the new crash detection feature.
Sudden Speed Shifts
The iPhone 14 will use its accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, and microphones, along with an advanced algorithm, to detect when you may have been involved in a crash. An accelerometer is a device that measures acceleration, or change in velocity, along an axis. Acceleration is measured in “g”s, which are units of measure of acceleration of the Earth’s gravity. One g is therefore equivalent to 9.81 m/s2.
Even the first iPhone that came out back in 2007 had an accelerometer – this was the technology that allowed you to play games by tilting and moving the iPhone. However, prior accelerometers were likely only able to measure small changes in velocity such as those caused by a person tilting or moving the iPhone with their hands. Apple says the new iPhone 14 now contains a “high g-force accelerometer” that can sense extreme accelerations up to 256 gs. This new ability assists the iPhone in being able to detect extreme accelerations that a person should not normally be exposed to, indicating that it may have been involved in a car crash.
Abrupt Changes in Direction
The new iPhone 14 will also use its gyroscope in detecting crashes. A gyroscope is a device that measures change in acceleration as well as change in direction at the same time. Gyroscopes are not a new technology to the iPhone as they have been included since the iPhone 4, but like the new accelerometer, it is likely that the new versions are able to detect a much higher range of forces, such as those that may occur in a car crash.
Cabin Pressure Changes
The iPhone 14 will also utilize a barometer to assist in crash detection. A barometer is a device that measures atmospheric pressure and change in pressure. The iPhone has utilized a barometer for many years to detect elevation and count your steps. The capabilities of the barometer have likely also been expanded, as Apple says that the new barometer in the iPhone 14 will be able to detect sudden changes in pressure that would be caused by air bags deploying in a car crash.
Loud Sound Levels of Impact
Finally, Apple says they will use the iPhone’s microphones to determine when loud sounds are present, such as those that would be caused by a car crash. Apple says they will use the processors on the iPhone to analyze when loud sounds are heard and determine if they are consistent with crash sounds from prior crash tests.
Crash & Fall Detection with the new Apple Watch
The new Apple Watch® Series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra also contain these same sensors and also have crash detection built in. The new line of Apple Watches also includes another technology called fall detection, which utilizes the same sensors to detect if you have taken a fall. It makes sense that fall detection will only be available on the Apple Watch, as it is always attached to your body, whereas the iPhone can sometimes be dropped or knocked around which would result in false alarms.
The new iPhones and Apple Watches are constantly taking measurements from all of these sensors and processing the data onboard so that they can recognize when a crash has occurred and send out a call for help.
What does this mean for you if you’re involved in a car crash or have fallen?
Most importantly, the new crash detection features mean that your iPhone or Apple Watch will immediately call for help and direct rescuers to your exact location if it detects that you’ve been involved in a car crash or have taken a hard fall. If you’re incapacitated and alone, this could potentially save your life.
If you are injured in car crash caused by someone else or have fallen due to a dangerous condition, this crash and fall data recorded by the iPhone and watch can assist us in proving your injuries in court. We often hear attorneys argue that someone couldn’t possibly have been injured in a car accident because it was so minor, or that the slip and fall wasn’t bad enough to cause any injury. The crash data recorded by the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch will assist us and our experts in proving that the accident caused your injuries. Real measurements of acceleration, change in velocity, and change in direction are impossible to deny. We have biomechanical engineers and doctors that can testify about how the forces you experienced in your accident or fall were the cause of your injuries.
We’ve long been able to use fitness data from the Apple Watch and iPhone to prove your damages. For example, all those steps, workouts, and closing your rings that you’ve done are not just good for earning virtual badges – we can use that data to prove to the jury how active you were before you were injured. Now, the new generation of iPhones and Apple Watches give us a new tool that we can use to prove your injuries and fight for you to get justice.
The experienced lawyers at The Fina Law Firm understand the latest technology and science and have the ability to use it to get you justice! If you’ve been injured, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have. If you’d like to set up a free consultation today, give us a call at 904-878-2379 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fina Law Firm Blog is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.
Apple®, iPhone®, and Apple Watch® are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.