Edited By: Shaurya Sharma
Last Updated: March 01, 2023, 12:33 IST
When Google launched its Pixel Watch in October of last year, the reception was mixed. While some issues like subpar battery life and occasional bugs were to blame, the lack of safety features like ‘fall detection’ also played a significant role. However, the company has now released the fall detection update much earlier than anticipated. Despite previously announcing a winter 2023 rollout, Google has kept its promise and made the feature available to users—bringing the Pixel Watch in line with what Apple and Samsung have to offer.
Like Apple and Samsung’s popular smartwatches, the Pixel Watch utilizes motion sensors to detect if the wearer has taken a hard fall. The fall detection feature relies on on-device machine learning along with these motion sensors to determine if a fall has occurred. If the watch detects that the wearer hasn’t moved or responded within a certain time frame after a fall—it will automatically call emergency services for help.
“If you take a hard fall and your watch detects you aren’t moving for about 30 seconds, it will vibrate, sound an alarm and display an on-screen notification to check on you. If you’re able to, either tap ‘I’m OK’ on your watch face to dismiss the notification or tap ‘I fell & need help’ to be connected to emergency services right away,” Google claimed in a blog post.
After the initial alert, the alarm will gradually increase in volume until it reaches its loudest level in the final few seconds. And, if there is still no response—the Pixel Watch will automatically call emergency services and send an automated message—requesting help to your location. Further, you may also speak directly to the emergency operator and inform them about your situation and if you require assistance.
Google claims that the company has paid a lot of emphasis on preventing false triggers. So, the Pixel Watch can differentiate between hard falls, minor stumbles and when you are just performing a rigorous activity like lifting or skiing. “We trained this process using a broad variety of human and simulated fall data and other motion patterns to accurately detect real falls and minimize potential false alarms,” Google claims.
The feature, however, is optional, so Google gives you the choice to let it remain off. But to enable it, you can head to the ‘Updates’ page on the Watch Companion app or directly on the Pixel Watch in the Personal Safety app.
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