New SOS feature... shouldn't alarm be SILENT?!

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Tiskers, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. Tiskers macrumors member

    Tiskers

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    #1
    Let me start by saying I am LOVING iOS 10, Sierra and Watch OS 3 (even on my first gen watch!) So many new fun things... I feel like a kid in a candy store.

    One of the things I really appreciate in Watch OS 3 is the new emergency SOS feature. I think that has the potential to really help people and save lives. But something is driving me mildly batty. If I am reading up on it right, the alarm is NOT silent. It seems to me that if you are being assaulted or kidnapped or held hostage... you would NOT want an AUDIBLE alarm! Might that not just cause someone to tear off your watch or cut off your arm?!

    I realize that an audible alarm *might* scare a bad guy off... but I still think, in general and in most situations, a SILENT alarm would give a person in danger a MUCH BETTER chance of being found and saved.

    I would love your thoughts and comments! Thank you! ;)
     
  2. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #2
    How do you make the alarm go? I don't see an alarm option.
     
  3. Tiskers thread starter macrumors member

    Tiskers

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    #3
    As I understand it, the audible alarm (if you set off the SOS) is automatic. There is no option to toggle it off.

    ETA: All I know is what I've read... obviously I can't try it out. EMS frowns on that! :p
     
  4. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #4
    I see. So there is an audible alarm AND it calls EMS? Didn't know that.
     
  5. twinlight macrumors 6502

    twinlight

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    #5
    It starts a countdown when activated. The two last seconds an alarm goes off so you get a chance to cancel out of it if you accidentally activated the feature.
     
  6. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #6
    I see. Well I didn't know this. The only thing I can think of is it's an alarm in case you become incapacitated so you can be more easily noticed and found? Only thing I can think.
     
  7. Tiskers thread starter macrumors member

    Tiskers

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    #7
    Yes, that is how I understand it, too. And I also understand the reasons behind it. But maybe a pretty distinct watch vibration could do the same thing?

    Because I still think that (at least an OPTION for) a silent alarm would be very helpful for many (if not most?) emergency situations. It would certainly not make a bad situation worse, but IMHO the reverse cannot be said.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 24, 2016 ---
    Along with the alarm it sends your location, so that should enable people to find you.
     
  8. Vihzel macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Hmm... well it's EXTREMELY unlikely that you will ever be in a hostage situation or kidnapped. Assaulted? Maybe if a bunch of things don't line up for you. But in any case, it's extremely unlikely that the kidnapper would allow you to keep your watch on you and whoever is doing a hostage situation would hopefully be smart enough to know that smartwatches exist and they'd want all electronics in a pile.

    I think it's better to have an alarm than not for most situations really.
     
  9. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #9
    I just mean like I'm a guy passed out on the side of the road. Maybe someone walking by hears the alarm and is able to come to my aid first.

    In just shooting suggestions here lol. Fanned if I know what apple's thinking was. I don't imagine they designed it for s home invasion scenario. And even if so you're in speaker phone with emergency services aren't you? Not exactly quiet.

    Anyway I don't have the answer. I'll **** up now haha
    --- Post Merged, Sep 24, 2016 ---
    I definitely hope my hostage taker thinks of these things first. :p
     
  10. Tiskers thread starter macrumors member

    Tiskers

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    #10
    I hope you are right!
    I think an option to easily toggle on or off would be a win/win.

    --- Post Merged, Sep 24, 2016 ---
    LOL!, yeah me too! I don't want any dumb 20th century hostage-taker either, thank you very much! *wink!*
     
  11. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #11
    Is it :apple:Watch and iPhone alarm or :apple:Watch or iPhone? A couple of things to consider.

    • :apple:Watch speaker outputs a very low SPL and can't be heard in an outside environment more than a few feet (couple of meters)
    • iPhone is likely to be in pocket, purse or carrying pack and would be very muffled or not heard
     
  12. Tiskers thread starter macrumors member

    Tiskers

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    #12
    Good point, Julien. I am *assuming* watch speaker, but of course all I know is what I've read, and I haven't read specific info on that. Can't test it out of course, as our good friends at EMS would frown on that! ;)
     
  13. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #13
    Go outside in a relatively noisy environment and have someone call you. Hear the ring and talk/listen on your :apple:Watch and you will see it is a struggle just hearing it close to your ear. Now have someone stand 10' (3M) away and I be they can't hear anything.
     
  14. BSben macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    As we are on the subject of noise and sound, is the speaker in the Series 2 Watch louder than in the first generation? I read somewhere that is loud enough now to use it to make phone calls outside
     
  15. frjps macrumors member

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    #15
    Yes I have found that it is much louder than the first Apple Watch. I wouldn't even make a phone call on that one because the speaker was so bad. But now I can hear it very well.
     
  16. Tiskers thread starter macrumors member

    Tiskers

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    #16
    Thank you for the reply, i will try that.
    Although, I'm still lobbying for at least a "silent" option! (And yes, I have written Apple Feedback! :D)
    Apparently I am fixated on the fact that a silent alarm would be best in any situation where the bad guy was right right there beside you and within easy earshot of any call for help.
     
  17. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #17
    What is the 'silent' option?

    EDIT: Is this when you can't hear the operator?
     
  18. Tiskers thread starter macrumors member

    Tiskers

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    #18
    There is no "silent" option, that's my gripe. I think for an emergency SOS feature to NOT have the option of a silent call (i.e., no audible alarm sound) for help is crazy!
     
  19. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #19
    Color me confused. I thought you wanted the :apple:Watch to make some kind of audible alarm sound. So you are saying the :apple:Watch DOES make some kind of audible alarm sound when you press SOS and you don't want it to. What kind of audible alarm sound does it make and have you heard it? There is nothing in the description about this and I thought it just called 911 and alerted any contacts you had set up. On the Apple support site it doesn't say anything about an audible alarm sound sound and only indicates it calls 911.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206983
     
  20. Tiskers thread starter macrumors member

    Tiskers

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    #20

    Julien, Thanks for the reply. Nice link, thank you.
    But note what that link you provided says:
    2. Continue to hold down the side button. Wait for a countdown to begin and an alert to sound. You can also drag the Emergency SOS slider.

    In some articles it calls it an "alert", in others I have seen it called an "alarm." I have never heard the actual alert/alarm myself. I wouldn't want to accidentally place a call to EMS because of my curiosity!

    BUUUUT... I just did another search for information and found this article, which clarifies this somewhat -- see red highlighted sentence:

    ********
    Make an emergency phone call

    In case of emergency, use Apple Watch to quickly call for help.

    Make an emergency call. Press and hold the side button until the sliders appear, then drag the Emergency SOS slider to the right. Apple Watch calls the emergency services in your region—for example, 911. After the call ends, Apple Watch alerts your SOS contacts that you made a call and sends them your current location.

    Tip: You can also press and keep holding the side button until Apple Watch beeps and starts a countdown. When the countdown ends, Apple Watch calls emergency services. Apple Watch beeps even if it’s in Silent Mode, so if you’re in an emergency situation where you don’t want to make noise, use the Emergency SOS slider to call emergency services without a countdown.

    [​IMG]

    *******

    So it sounds like the workaround (if you want NO alarm) is to use the sliders -- and not just hold the button in and let the call automatically take place. I SWEAR this is new information, though, since yesterday when I was up to my ears in research on this subject! :eek:
     
  21. tromboneaholic macrumors 65816

    tromboneaholic

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    #21
    But when 911 answers, they will be heard through the Watch speaker. It's not some automated data system, it's a regular phone call like any other with the Watch.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 25, 2016 ---
    Unless you have Bluetooth headphones or always keep the volume all the way down.
     
  22. Tiskers thread starter macrumors member

    Tiskers

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    #22
    Yes, you are right... thanks, I never thought of that. I guess I was just thinking place the call and let location services do the rest.

    Hmmmmm... such a great feature, but I wonder how it will really work in the real world?!
     
  23. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #23
    The 'beep' is not an alarm, but a warning to you that your :apple:Watch is about to dial 911 and if this is an accident to STOP and release the button. Apple must keep this to help prevent 'butt dialing' of 911 when something accidentally presses your :apple:Watch button. Dialing 911 without a reason can be illegal and is defiantly a dangerous resource diversion.
     
  24. tromboneaholic macrumors 65816

    tromboneaholic

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    #24
    I'm fairly sure the primary emergency this is intended for is a health emergency. That would be far more common than an attacker.
     
  25. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    #25
    Probably by a factor of well over 100x. However just to add the warning (not alarm) beep would just be pre 911 dial.
     

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