What you need to know

  • If you own a Pixel phone, you will soon be able to seek emergency assistance without having to speak.
  • Google says the feature will be rolled out in the U.S. over the coming months.
  • Apart from Pixel phones, the feature will be available on select Android devices in the future.

Google has announced that it will be rolling out a new emergency calling feature in the U.S. soon, allowing people to seek assistance without having to verbally communicate when they're injured or in a dangerous situation. The feature will also prove to be very helpful to individuals who have a speech impairment.

Once the feature is rolled out, users will be able to share information regarding the assistance they require, along with their location, to the emergency operator directly from the Phone app. Google plans to roll out the feature in the U.S. over the coming months, although it will only be available on Pixel phones initially. It will later be made available on other select Android devices as well.

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Users will be able to tap "Medical", "Fire", or "Police" buttons during an emergency call, which will convey the type of emergency assistance required to the operator via an automated voice service, which Google says will work on device. This will ensure that the information shared during a call will stay between the user and emergency services. The service will function even without a data connection and will let the user speak directly to the operator if he/she so chooses.

The automated voice service will also provide the user's location to the operator, along with their plus code. Plus codes are similar to a street address and will help emergency services to accurately locate the caller. Similar to the other information shared with the operator using the automated voice service, Google has said the location data will also stay between the caller and emergency services.

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