Apple is known to be generous with the amount of money it’s willing to throw into research and development when it wants to get something done. Over the years, the company has brought many features to its products this way, and the latest breakthrough feature is Emergency SOS via satellite. The feature uses satellite communication to help iPhone users contact emergency services if they’re stranded with no cell signal.
Apple has revealed that it is investing $450 million to bring this feature to life. The company says that it is making the investment to build the critical infrastructure to support the feature, via its Advanced Manufacturing Fund.
Emergency SOS via satellite launching this month, backed by Apple’s $450 million investment
Apple in a press release (opens in new tab) revealed how its investment will fund the infrastructure required for this feature to operate well. Most of this money is going to Globalstar, which is a global satellite service that powers this new feature. Apple says the funding will be used to strengthen Globalstar’s satellite network and ground stations. Globalstar currently has 24 satellites and ground stations to be used for this feature, and more than 300 employees supporting it. The upgrades include new high-power antennas, among other enhancements.
Apple’s chief operating officer Jeff Williams commented on the feature, saying,
“Emergency SOS via satellite is a perfect example of how American ingenuity and technology can save lives. We are proud this service is enabled by leading US companies, and that our users can explore off-the-grid areas knowing they are still within reach of emergency services if they are in need.”
The Emergency SOS via satellite feature is set to launch in November and will be available on Apple’s best iPhone models, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro. The feature will not be available on older iPhone models.