Trending February 2024 # Video Walkthrough: Emergency Sos, Activity Sharing & More In Watchos 3 Beta 2 # Suggested March 2024 # Top 7 Popular

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watchOS 3 beta 2 is not as feature-packed a release as the second beta of iOS 10, but still includes some major new features not found in prior betas, like Auto Unlock, Emergency SOS and Activity Sharing. We also detail a few smaller, useful enhancements in the stock Activity and Workout apps and some related new options added to the companion Watch app on the iPhone.

Video hands-on: new stuff in watchOS 3 beta 2

My colleague Andrew takes you on a quick video tour of the new features and changes that we were able to discover in watchOS 3 beta 2. Running five minutes long, the clip gives you a great overview of what to look forward to in the second beta of watchOS 3.

Don’t see the embedded video? Watch it on YouTube!

Read bellow for a detailed overview of outward-facing changes in the second beta.

Auto Unlock: getting into your Mac by wearing Apple Watch

Assuming your devices meet system requirements for Auto Unlock—your Mac wasn’t manufactured before 2013, you own an Apple Watch and an iPhone, your Apple ID is protected with Two-Factor Authentication (Auto Unlock doesn’t work with Two-Step Verification) and all your devices use a passcode and the same iCloud account—you can unlock the computer over Bluetooth after waking it from sleep simply by wearing the watch.

Auto Unlock works only when your Mac and Apple Watch are a few inches away of each other. As a cool bonus (or an additional layer of security, perhaps?), you’ll receive a notification on your wrist every time your Mac has been unlocked through your watch.

TUTORIAL: how to set up and use Auto Unlock

Emergency SOS: hopefully, you won’t need it

This feature could save your life.

Designed for people in critical or life-threatening situations, Emergency SOS calls an emergency service through your iPhone or while on Wi-Fi. Demoed at WWDC 2024, it was absent from beta 1 but is not live on beta 2, accessible through the menu that appears when you press and hold the Side button.

Next, swipe a new Emergency SOS button or keep holding the Side button for 6 seconds without having to slide and you’ll hear 3 loud beeps before the call is placed. You can disable this behavior via the companion Watch app: go to My Watch → General → Emergency SOS and slide the Press and Hold for SOS toggle to OFF.

To end the call, you must use Force Touch, then select End Call in the menu.

Built with international users in mind, Emergency SOS calls an appropriate emergency service for your country, based on your location. Apple’s attention to detail shows yet again: after hanging up, Apple offers to email your cherry-picked emergency contacts with your location to quickly alert them of your situation.

To choose your emergency contacts, open the companion Watch app on your iPhone and tap My Watch → General → Emergency SOS → Add SOS Contact, then pick people in your address book you wish to designate as your emergency contacts.

Workout: lock your session like a pro

watchOS 3 brings a few changes and improvements to your workouts.

If you launch Workout and start a workout session, you’ll notice that swiping from left to right now reveals a new screen with a Lock button, alongside the existing End and Pause buttons which were previously hidden from view in a Force Touch menu.

This new feature prevents accidental taps when working out by keeping the Apple Watch screen locked. You’ll notice that a blue icon resembling a droplet of water appears at the top of the Workout screen when the screen is locked.

To unlock the Workout screen, you must turn the Digital Crown.

The Lock feature does not pause your workout.

Ending your workout instantly saves the data and takes you back to the Workout app’s main screen, bypassing an extra step that required you to confirm the save operation. Also, taking a screenshot of the Workout app by simultaneously pressing the Digital Crown and the Side button will now pause your current session.

Activity: share your activity rings, workout routes & more

watchOS 3 turns on the ability to share your activity rings with friends and family.

This appreciated new feature helps game-ify the app by encouraging you to compete to see who can close all three rings first. Or, you can use it to let your trainer keep an eye on your daily progress. You’ll receive notifications when people you’re sharing your Activity rings with finish workouts or earn achievements.

You can even engage in a little bit of smack talk by tapping a Reply button, which actually takes you to Messages through which you can send canned messages, voice recordings, your own racing heartbeat with Digital Touch and more.

“Activity sharing is now directly connected to the Messages app, so users can communicate, motivate and celebrate with friends and family with new Smart Replies specially customized for Activity and Workouts,” notes Apple.

To access Activity Sharing, swipe from right to left and you’ll instantly see other people’s activity rings. There, you can check out the data, sort the list with Force Touch by Name, Move, Exercise, Steps and Workouts, message everyone at once and more.

Activity Sharing is available in the Activity app on your iPhone, too, via a new Sharing tab. You must use your iPhone to start sharing your Activity rings with other people.

Next up, elevation gain.

Now your Outdoor Cycling sessions actually keep rather than lose your Elevation Gain data. On your iPhone, open the Activity app, tap a saved Outdoor Cycling session and the summary screen will tell you that Elevation Gain data has been saved.

Elevation Gain isn’t included in Indoor Cycling session summaries.

And now, our last under-the-hood tweak in the Activity app: routes.

That’s right, now when you finish any of the outdoor workout sessions, a map of your route appears alongside other workout details at the bottom of the summary screen in the Activity app on your iPhone.

Tidbits: updating Apple Watch, changes in Watch app

In the companion Watch app, you’ll notice a new Featured Complications section under the Face Gallery tab which you can use to visually browse some of the best complications picked by Apple and see how they look like on different watch faces.

Lastly, and this could be an unintended consequence of beta software rather than a planned feature, we were able to update our watches without being connected to the charging disk. Prior watchOS releases wouldn’t apply Apple Watch software updates unless the device was connected to power and charged at least fifty percent.

That behavior could easily change in future betas.

watchOS 3 availability: due this fall

watchOS 3 preview and WatchKit for watchOS 3 are currently available to iOS Developer Program members at Apple’s portal for developers. watchOS 3 will release for public consumption in the fall as a free software update to the Apple Watch.

What’s new in iOS 10 beta 2?

Now that you’ve learned about the changes in watchOS 3 beta 2, how about checking out the nearly 50 new features, enhancements and tidbits in iOS 10 beta 2?

What’s new in macOS Sierra beta 2?

We’ve also covered in detail everything new in macOS Sierra beta 2, including immediate availability of the widely-anticipated Auto-Unlock feature, hidden Dark Mode assets in Safari and System Preferences, a change of the default Siri keyboard shortcut, iTunes 12.5 with support for checking out works, composers and performers while browsing Classical music in Apple Music catalog and more.

iDB previews Apple’s upcoming OS updates

We dove deep into Apple’s upcoming software updates to help you get a good grasp of major new features and little things that we think you’ll care about.

Check out our iOS 10, macOS Sierra, tvOS 10 and watchOS 3 previews:

Additional previews will be added to this list as they’re published.

Did we miss anything?

What new features in watchOS 3 are you most excited for, and why?

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How To Use Emergency Sos On Apple Watch

When in trouble, medical or otherwise you can send an emergency SOS on Apple Watch. The inbuilt feature has saved multiple lives. Various options in Apple Watch SOS Mode can be enabled or disabled as per your convenience and requirement. So, Let’s check out how you can use the SOS feature.

How to Use Emergency SOS on Apple Watch

What is SOS on Apple Watch?

SOS is an international code signal of extreme distress, and both iPhone and Apple Watch have inbuilt SOS features. As and when it is triggered, the emergency service department of your area is notified. Moreover, a message will be sent to your emergency contact along with your location.

The SOS features on Apple Watch includes – call for help, heart rate alerts, smart medical ID, and fall detection (for series 4 only).

How to Use Emergency SOS on Apple Watch

Your watch will employ location triangulation to gather your current location to find the emergency services contact number. Though in some regions, you might have to manually enter the number. Once the call is made, the watch sends alerts to your emergency contacts, along with your current location.

Even if your GPS is off, the watch will auto-enable it. If your location is changed, an updated location will be sent to your contact until the SOS mode is deactivated. The Apple watch needs eSim or a Wi-Fi connection to make the call; whether via an already connected network or your paired iPhone. So, make sure that Wi-Fi calling is enabled on your Apple Watch.

You can call for help with Apple Watch using SOS feature in two ways – multi-press SOS and single press SOS.

Step #1. Long press the Side Button of your Apple Watch until you see the Power-off Slider.

Step #2. Tap on Emergency SOS Slider and swipe right.

The watch will immediately call emergency services and message your emergency contacts. Under some circumstances, looking at your watch to slide right might not be a possibility. You can use the single-press feature for the same, though this will only work if the feature is activated via your iPhone.

How to Enable Emergency SOS on Your Apple Watch

Step #1. Open Watch App on your iPhone.

Step #2. Scroll down and select the Emergency SOS option.

Step #3. Switch the toggle option next to Hold Side Button to ON.

If you want to disable this feature, just turn the toggle off. Now that you have enabled the Single-press SOS calling, here’s how to use the feature:

Activate Single Press SOS on Apple Watch

Step #1. Press and hold the Side Button of your Apple Watch. Continue holding until the countdown finishes.

Once the countdown finishes, your watch will automatically make an SOS call. Next, your emergency contacts will be notified. While the watch counts down from three, it sends out alarm tones, even if it’s in the silent mode. In emergency situations, where you might not want to make a noise, use the multi-press SOS.

The three tones act as a notification that the emergency call mode is activated. This comes in handy if the feature is mistakenly activated. Which brings us to the question of how to cancel the Emergency SOS call.

How to End SOS Call From Apple Watch

You also have an option to end the call, if it was mistakenly made. During the countdown period, release the side button to cancel. If the connection is being made, tap on the End Call icon. You will be asked to confirm the action, tap on Yes.

However, if you have added emergency contacts, a new countdown will begin. This will count down from 10 to send your emergency contacts an SOS message and location. Tap on Cancel to stop the message. You will be asked to confirm the action, tap on Yes. Once canceled, your watch will display a Medical ID, that will have your details.

This contains general information provided by you in the health app such as blood group, height, weight, or medical conditions. When you scroll down, your emergency contacts will also be shown, along with their numbers and relationship with you.

The emergency contacts on your Apple Watch and iPhone is stored along with your Medical ID in the Health App on your phone.

Step #1. Open the Health app from your iPhone and go to Medical ID from the bottom-right corner.

Step #2. Tap on Edit on the top-right corner.

Step #3. Scroll down to the Emergency Contacts section and tap on + add emergency contact.

Step #4. Search for the contact of the person you want to add.

Step #5. Choose Relationship.

Your emergency contact has been added, repeat the process to add more.

If you want to delete the contact, tap on ‘- (remove icon)’. A Delete option will slide in the window, tap on it to confirm.

If you are using iOS 13, that there is just a small change in the location of the Medical ID tab. You can open the tab via – Health app → Profile Icon → Medical Details → Medical ID.

What is A Emergency Medical ID

You can call the Medical ID a contingency plan, it has vital health and personal information such as your allergies and medical conditions. In an emergency, Medical personnel can view this information without unlocking your Apple Watch. All they have to do is press the side button on your watch and drag the Medical ID slider to the right to view. Noting the information, they can inform your emergency contact and offer suitable aid.

However, to enable this feature, there are two things you need to take care of first. Set an Emergency Medical ID on your iPhone and allow the Medical information to be seen when the screen is locked. For the latter, open the Health app → Medical ID, then turn On the toggle in front of Show When Locked.

Precaution is always better than cure!!

When we think about the future, we often estrange ourselves from the possibility of something terrible. However, life as we said earlier, is quite unpredictable. Under the emergency, you might not get time to update, enable, and set the SOS mode for your Apple Watch.

Also, don’t forget to enable SOS services for your iPhone as well. Being prepared will always serve you well. Also, it aids you in keeping calm, knowing that help is on its way.

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The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

Find The Bandit Camp In Diablo 4: A Detailed Walkthrough

Diablo 4 is an action role-playing game with a vast and dynamic open world full of quests, dungeons, and enemies.

The Swamp’s Protection is one of the side quests that involve helping a healer and her infected friends.

To find the Bandit Camp in Diablo 4, complete the side quest The Swamp’s Protection, talk to Timue, deliver her supplies to three infected people, and then go to the Forsaken Coast.

This article will guide you through finding the Bandit Camp responsible for the infection and completing the quest objectives and rewards.

No matter which class you choose, this walkthrough will easily show you tips to handle the bandits.

What Is Bandit Camp In Diablo 4?

Bandit Camp is a location part of a side quest called The Swamp’s Protection in the Hawezar region.

It is a place where the bandits have set up their base and stored the medicine they have stolen from the Swamp.

In this quest, you must help a woman named Timue, who lives in the Blightmarsh and delivers medicine to the infected people.

Besides, it involves delivering supplies, finding three infected people, and killing the bandits who attacked them.

You have to fight them off and find their camp where you can eliminate them for good.

Where To Find The Bandit Camp In Diablo 4?

The Bandit Camp is in the Forsaken Coast area, northeast of Raldin’s location.

Furthermore, you can use a mount to get there faster and avoid enemies along the way.

A red icon marks the Bandit Camp on your map so you can follow it easily.

Further, once you get there, you must kill all the bandits in the camp and then return to Timue to finish the quest.

How To Find The Bandit Camp In Diablo 4?

The Bandit Camp is a part of a side quest called The Swamp’s Protection in Diablo 4.

Here are the steps to find the Bandit Camp in Diablo 4.

Start the side quest, The Swamp’s Protection, by speaking to Timue in Blightmarsh.

Open Timue’s Chest behind her and pick up Timue’s Supplies.

Now, find Baridan, Duraya and Raldin within the Blightmarsh.

Speak to them, give them Timu’s supplies, and then kill the bandits attacking Raldin and talk to him again.

Find the Bandit Camp in Exile’s Heap, northeast of Ralden’s location and then kill all the bandits in the camp.

Afterward, return to Timue, talk to her and get your rewards.

Rewards After Finding The Bandit Camp

You will get rewards after finding the Bandit Camp and completing The Swamp’s Protection quest. 

Here are the primary rewards with their benefits.

Renown: Region Renown, a currency that can unlock various features and benefits in each region, such as mounts, vendors and world bosses. 

Gold: The main currency, Gold can be used to buy items, repair equipment, craft materials and more. It depends on the character’s level.

Experience: This is the measure of your character’s progress and level. You need the experience to level up and unlock new skills, talents and attributes.

Item Reward: Herb Cache, a container holding various herbs that can be used for crafting potions and other items. Potions can restore your health, ama or other resources.

Read and find out the fastest way to level after 50 and the reasons behind the crafting of Sigils in Diablo 4.

The Bottom Line

Finding the Bandit Camp is one of the many side quests that Diablo 4 offers to enrich the gameplay.

Moreover, the quest is relatively easy and straightforward for exploring the Blightmarsh and Exiles’ Heap areas.

Hopefully, the above guide helps you to find the Bandit Camp in Diablo 4 and complete the quest.

Experience the dark and gritty world of Sanctuary in Diablo 4.

Keep reading and explore troubleshooting tips if Diablo 4 is not responding and if you can upgrade Jeweler.

For Some African Grey Parrots, Sharing Is Caring

A new study suggests that kindness may be for the birds. Far from being a uniquely human trait—or even something that sets great apes apart from the rest of the animal world—the ability to be generous could exist even among creatures who lend a wing instead of lending a hand.

“We humans, we think it’s what makes us special, what’s causing our great cooperative success,” says Désirée Brucks, the author of a new study in Current Biology and a postdoc at the University of Zurich. “But actually it’s not the case. Other species show it. Even birds, which split from mammals 300 million years ago.”

This new study, performed by Brucks and coauthor Auguste M.P. von Bayernat at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany, documented African grey parrots helping companions get a snack.

The experiment went like this: two parrots were placed in cages right next to each other with a hole between them, allowing them to pass things back and forth. They each had an experimenter-facing hole as well. The birds were sometimes given tokens, which they could pass to the scientists to get a treat.

One parrot was given tokens and had its portal to the experimenter closed up. Now the little guy had a choice: hoard them or pass them to the bird next door, which could still make the trade for food.

In general, the African greys were willing to pass the tokens, even if they didn’t get a snack themselves. They were also less likely to share tokens if the other bird or the experimenter were absent, suggesting they weren’t just nudging the objects out of their cages for the sake of it.

Two African grey parrots exchanging a token. Anastasia Krasheninnikova

Blue-headed macaws, another type of parrot, took the same test and weren’t as likely to pass along a token to their neighbor, whether or not the experimenter was present. Only two pairs out of 12 passed more than eight tokens back and forth, whereas 10 out of 16 pairs of African greys met that mark. Brucks credits this to social context: Blue-headed macaws live in a strict hierarchy, where being super friendly probably doesn’t have much of a benefit. But African greys fly in big flocks and their social dynamics and partnerships are in constant flux, so it’s worth maintaining a reputation for being a good buddy.

But Irene Pepperberg, a researcher at Harvard who has worked with African greys for decades, says it’s not necessarily so simple. When you dive into the new study’s data, she says, it’s pretty clear that the best parrots at the job were the ones with the closest relationships—they were recorded socializing together outside of the test, and in some cases were even siblings. And Pepperberg notes that some of the parrots had already been trained to complete a similar task for previous research projects, possibly giving them a leg-up over other study subjects. That could explain why some of the pairs didn’t play along in the test at all. All told, she’s not convinced the behavior of the birds in the experiment can be generalized to being typical for the species.

“They are making claims that are much stronger than their data support,” Pepperberg says.

Juan Duque, a psychology professor at Arcadia University who has studied similar acts of social cooperation in other birds, notes that even if African greys have the capacity for altruism, it may not be a universal trait for the species. Animals, like people, have different personalities—and some might be more willing to help out than others.

“You have some friends that are super helpful, super friendly, super supportive,” Duque says.

“And you have other friends where you have to be the one to put the effort in to contact them, and when you go out to dinner, you know that they might be a little more cheap.”

So while this paper hints that a willingness to help may not be unusual in African greys, it’s crucial to realize that each individual will act slightly differently, he says. The interactions of a larger group of birds might be more telling of how friendly these parrots are in the wild, and what factors actually influence how they treat their feathered friends.

Why Is My Iphone Showing An Emergency Override Charging Alert

iPhones released after the iPhone 7 offer a certain degree of resistance to water exposure. As a fail-safe mechanism, the iPhone is set to pause charging automatically until the lightning ports dry off to prevent hazards. But what if there’s an emergency situation? Fret not; iPhone touts an emergency charging override feature that lets you charge your iPhone immediately.

What is an Emergency Override on the iPhone? Should you use it? Read on to find out more.

What is Emergency Override iPhone Charging?

Emergency charging override is a way to bypass the liquid detection warning on the iPhone. When you activate this feature, your iPhone will charge regardless of whether its components are still wet or not. However, this depends on your discretion and is not Apple-recommended. Of course, I also don’t recommend charging your iPhone this way, even if you’re using a wireless charger.

When should you select the Emergency Override Charging option?

As said earlier, iPhone 7 and later series offer certain water-resistance levels at various depths based on their IP ratings (you might want to see if your iPhone is water-resistant or not). So far, iPhones series 12 and 13 are the most resistant and withstand depths of up to 6 meters. It’s not strange to see people take underwater pictures with their iPhones. And some even dare this resistant feature and pour water directly on their device.

How to undo Emergency Override option?

If you mistakenly select the Emergency Override option whenever a liquid warning pops up on your iPhone, there are a couple of things you can do to prevent further damage:

Unplug your iPhone from the power source immediately.

You might also want to restart the iPhone at this point.

Leave it for some time to dry off. Avoid using any drying agents or air blower to absorb moisture from your iPhone.

Once the iPhone dries up, try charging it again. Your phone is dry if the liquid warning doesn’t show anymore.

If the warning keeps showing after drying, avoid the Emergency Override option. It might be time to contact Apple.

Dropped an iPhone in water? Here’s what to do

If your iPhone mistakenly drops in water or you use it underwater for some reason, ensure to get it out as soon as possible. 

Once you remove your iPhone from the water, avoid plugging it into a power cable for charging. Instead, leave for some time to dry naturally under a cool breeze. Also, you might want to remove water from your iPhone speakers if the liquid is affecting audio quality.

What to do if you get a “Liquid Detected” warning?

The iPhone uses the “Liquid Detected” warning to alert you that there’s still liquid in your iPhone, as earlier stated. Hence, it deters you from charging it this way. So it’s best to unplug your iPhone from the charger immediately if you see this warning on your iPhone. There’s no cause for panic. You only need to leave your iPhone to dry before trying to charge it again.

How to turn off emergency override on iPhone?

You cannot directly turn off Emergency Override Mode. However, you can immediately disconnect the iPhone from the charger to exit the Emergency Override mode.

Will using Emergency Override charging damage your iPhone?

Of course, Emergency Override means you’re force-charging your iPhone despite being moist. Although Apple puts it there, it doesn’t recommend using that option, as it can damage your iPhone. It might spoil your iPhone. So the short answer is yes.

Nonetheless, you can use a wireless charger instead of a power cable if you need to charge your iPhone in emergency mode. This method is safer since you don’t need to connect directly to an electrical source. However, use this method only in emergencies. You may avoid using wireless charging if you can wait for your iPhone to dry naturally.

In conclusion

Emergency Override might be unavoidable in some situations, though. Moreover, Apple added this feature for users who might need to charge their device to power on if there’s an emergency. So Emergency Override isn’t meant to charge the battery for long. It’s only there to boost the battery so you can use your iPhone during an emergency.

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Idowu is an avid tech writer and a software surfer who loves covering knowledge gaps in consumer software, including anything related to iPhones. Well, when he’s not reading and learning new things, you’ll find Idowu losing gallantly on a solid chessboard or virtually on Lichess.

The Most Helpful Emergency Services And Defense Innovations Of 2023

The past year has been marked by serious challenges, from the ongoing climate emergency, a subsequent increase in extreme forest fire frequency, and the devastating war in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion. But we’ve also seen true innovation in the field of crisis response. More exact location systems will help emergency services find people in trouble quicker. Better respirator technology is rolling out, designed to help wildland firefighters breathe a little easier. And fire trucks are finally starting to go electric. This year’s best emergency services and defense innovations offer paths out of tight spots, aiming to create a safer future—or at least a better way to handle its myriad disasters.

Looking for the complete list of 100 winners? Find it here.

Grand Award Winner  Wildland Firefighter Respirator by TDA Research: A lightweight, field-rechargeable respirator for forest firefighters

Forest fire fighters need a lightweight wearable respirator to protect them from inhaling smoke. The Wildland Firefighter Respirator, by TDA Research, uses a hip-mounted pump to pull air through a HEPA filter, channeling it to a secure but loose-fitting half-mask (a helpful feature for people who haven’t had the chance to shave while in the field). A sensor in the system detects air flow direction, letting the pump only blow at full strength when the user inhales. Importantly, the device weighs just 2.3 pounds, which is only about 10 percent the weight of a typical urban firefighting Self Contained Breathing Apparatus. About the size of a 1-liter water bottle, the respirator is powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. To recharge in the field or away from a generator, that pack can also draw power from 6 AA batteries. Bonus: Even though it was designed for safety professionals, the device could also become civilian protective gear in fire season.

Connect AED by Avive: Connecting defibrillators to those in need, faster

Avive’s Connect AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is designed to be a life-saving device that’s also smart. The devices can automatically do daily maintenance checks to ensure they can perform as needed, thanks to WiFi, cellular, bluetooth, and GPS. Plus, with that connectivity, 911 operators could alert nearby Connect AED holders to respond to a called-in cardiac arrest, saving time and possibly someone’s life. Once a person has been defibrillated, Connect’s connectivity also lets emergency room doctors see data the device collected, such as the patient’s heart rhythm, as well as the device’s shock history, complete with timestamps. The Connect AED also has a backpack-like form factor and touch screen for intuitive use.

Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations by Ames Research Center: Letting drone pilots clear skies for aerial emergency vehicles 

Ames Research Center

Learn More

The sky above a forest fire can be a dangerous, crowded place, and that was before forest fire fighters added drones joined the mix. Developed by NASA, the Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations project (STEReO) is developing tools for managing the complicated airspace above an emergency. In the spring of 2023, a NASA team field-tested a STEReO’s suitcase-sized prototype device, called the UASP-Kit, to monitor drones safely in the open airspace around prescribed burns. By tracking transponders on crewed aircraft, the UASP-Kit can play a sound through tablet speakers, alerting drone operators when helicopters and planes fly close to where they are operating. That hopefully lets drone pilots get their equipment to safety without risking aerial collision.

Locate Before Route by AT&T: Pinpointing the emergency 

When a person in an emergency calls 911 for help, that call is routed, based on its location, to the closest 911 operator. For cell phones, that meant matching the call to the nearest tower and hoping it sent the call to dispatch in the right county. But in May 2023, AT&T announced the nationwide rollout of a better system. Leaning on the improved location services on iOS and Android phones, AT&T’s Locate Before Route feature can pinpoint the location of the emergency call within 50 meters, sometimes even as precisely as 15 meters. This better location information should allow the call to be routed to the best dispatch center, ideally helping responders arrive faster. That data can only be used for 911 purposes, and helps first responders get where they’re needed quickly, nationwide.

GridStar Flow by Lockheed Martin: Helping to power defense with renewable energy Volterra Electric Firetruck by Pierce: A more sustainable, quieter fire truck

Fire trucks are big, powerful vehicles, but they run on diesel, a polluting fossil fuel. The Pierce Volterra truck can deliver all that power on an electric charge, and it can also run on diesel fuel if need be. Already in use with the Madison, Wisconsin fire department, but with contracts to expand to Portland, Oregon and Gilbert, Arizona underway this year, the Volterra has enough battery power for a full day as an electric vehicle. The electric power helps complement a transition to renewable energy, but it also comes with immediate benefit to the firefighters: the vehicle doesn’t spew exhaust into the station. The quiet of the electric engine also lets firefighters coordinate better on the drive, and can help cries for help be heard when the responders arrive on site.

Vampire Drone by L3Harris: Taking down drones from kilometers away

Drones are increasingly a part of modern battles, seen in wars across the globe but especially with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with both countries using a range of uncrewed aircraft to scout and fight. In August 2023, the Department of Defense announced it would send a new tool to aid Ukrainian forces as a way to counter Russian drones. Made by L3Harris, the Vehicle-Agnostic Modular Palletized ISR Rocket Equipment (VAMPIRE) system is a rocket launcher and sensor kit that can be mounted to a range of vehicles, providing a means to damage and destroy drones at a range of at least three miles. The laser-guided rockets, directed by a human operator, explode with a proximity fuse, making near misses into effective takedowns. 

Emergency SOS via satellite by Apple: Locating lost hikers with satellites

For hikers lost in remote parts of the United States and Canada, calling for help means hoping for cell phone coverage, or waiting for a serendipitous rescue. But Apple’s Emergency SOS via Satellite, announced September 2023, will let people with an iPhone 14 transmit emergency messages via satellite, provided they can’t first establish a cellular connection. Texters will have a tap-through menu to create an information-dense but data-light report, and provided trees or mountains don’t block the signal, they can transmit crucial information, like what kind of injuries someone has sustained. With a clear view of the sky and fifteen seconds, a cry for help can reach space and then, even better, rescuers on Earth.

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