Siri Could Someday Save Your Life By Calling 911 For You


Photo: Flickr/BenSpark
Photo: Flickr/BenSpark

Up until now, Apple’s Siri voice-recognition system has been shown in a humorous light. However, what if Siri could save your life? People remaking next-generation 911 services see Siri as the voice of emergency victims, not just a locator of the nearest sushi joint.

“Once the word ’emergency’ is spoken to Siri, a range of beneficial activity could commence,” health policy analyst John S. Wilson writes.

For example, Siri could send first responders a live video feed from your iPhone while information about your physician, current medicine and allergies is sent to the nearest hospital using an app. On your way out the door, Siri could also text or email family members, letting them know what happened and where to meet you.

Although calling 911 from your cell phone can be an iffy proposition because location data is not always available, a new generation of emergency calling services are being developed that automatically adds location data to voice, video and text calls

And while Siri can’t dial 911 now for you because there is no way of authenticating whether the call is a prank or not, next-gen 911 could provide video data as well as GPS information that could reduce the guesswork.

Aside from acute emergencies, Siri could also be used for everyday health issues. The “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” buttons worn by the elderly and ill could be replaced by the iPhone’s single activation button and Siri.

“At the tap of a button, Siri will be able to set and vocalize reminders for when to take pills, can initiate check-ups with family and care providers, and can begin a smooth chain reaction of events that would otherwise require far more time and energy to do,” Wilson writes.

So, sure, Siri can act silly and it can find the perfect retailer, but it has some very practical and important uses as well — many we haven’t even considered yet.

  • markrlangston

    After seeing that first Siri commercial with the blind woman at the end I kept thinking that Google’s no-button approach was a huge mistake. The Home button on iPhones, iPads and such make it a simple device for everyone including those the sight impaired or those with other disabilities that might make navigating a screen difficult.

    But with Siri you could very well do most anything with your voice. Reading this truly blew my mind at the possibilities of what Siri can do and will be able to do in the future.

  • AlterThending

    Cant you already do that with Voice Control? Really this is nothing new.

  • FriarNurgle

    I’m sorry, Dave. You’re going to die. 

  • John S. Wilson

    Nathan, the examples that I expound upon cannot be done with Voice Control. This is something much different. Give it a read when you get a chance.

  • John S. Wilson

    Thanks for posting this Cult of Mac!

  • McCharley Okafor

    Siri could easily be the voice technology that drives most of our personal tech in the future. But i think she’ll need additional gestures (especially visual) to help her tell between when she’s been asked to do something and when i’m just making a comment.  (Too bad for the guy all tied up but with a happy face (humor))