Apple has filed a patent on Tuesday for iPhone users to dial Emergency Services using fingerprint technology. In this feature, the person can contact the police during times when making the physical act of making the call poses a danger or threat. According to the patent, while most smartphones have the ability to contact emergency services without being unlocked, it is not considered the most practical move as it becomes obvious to whoever is watching or monitoring.

Help at the tip of your finger

Apple wants iPhone users to have the technology that will recognize a sequence of fingerprints as a covert command to call the authorities. The patent gives the company exclusive rights to allow users to make a 999 or 911 call even if the phone is out of reach or not advisable to use.


This is especially true in cases where there is a threat from terrorists or a hold up in a hostage situation.

The mechanism may work as follows. The iPhone owner, similar to every other smartphone users, could use her thumb to unlock the phone on a regular basis. However, as an emergency indicator to 911/999, the index finger will be assigned. Should the user need help, he or she simply needs to place her index finger on the scanner. This will automatically alert 911/999 without any apparent activity on the phone screen.

If one fingerprint is not enough, a sequence of fingerprints may also be an option. The user can simply program the device to recognize input entered such as the command pinky-ring-pinky.

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All this could be done inside the person's pocket without having to alert the attacker. The police are notified the caller's location using GPS as the device pulls a live video or audio directly from the phone.

Lastly, an important additional feature also includes the capability to erase or hide particular personal data that the user may not want to share with others. This includes social security number, home address, ID numbers, and the like. The patent adds that the technology could erase or hide certain personal data you might not want to share with others, such as social security numbers or a home address.

Probability of the technology

As of today, this technology is not yet available and to some, it may never be.


After all, not all patented technologies are actualized and put to use. Take for instance the headphone jack, which Apple has now dropped. Sources say that this patent was applied for in 2013, which is indicative that it might have been accounted for an earlier design of the iPhone.

Apple has not issued any response about the matter. There was also no acknowledgment received from the company, which is characteristic of them since they keep usually keep quiet about new product features until they officially released.

Recently, they invested on another innovation in the Apple's new SOS feature, which was incorporated into the Apple Watch. This is to support better emergency calling and minimize accidental triggers, which they addressed with the Touch ID payments.

With a feature of this nature certainly in demand, it is still unclear if the company will build it into software updates. In any case, it is a good indication of the direction Apple wants to go to provide excellent service for their loyal followers.