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.