Pixel Watch finally gains an important safety feature that was shown at launch

Using the crown on the Google Pixel Watch
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has started rolling out an update for the Pixel Watch, which enables Fall Detection. 
  • This feature was announced at the launch but has not been available for users. 
  • After being enabled, Fall Detection can automatically notify emergency services and contacts if you are in need of assistance.

It seems that Google has been quite busy, as the company has already detailed what's to come in the first Feature Drop of 2023. Now, Google is back with even more exciting news, as Fall Detection is finally coming to the Pixel Watch. 

Google announced this feature during the Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch launch event, stating then that it would be arriving "this Winter." While it was only a matter of time before Fall Detection was added, some users received it a bit early, following the December 2022 update. 

The way that Fall Detection works on the Pixel Watch is not all that different from some of the other best Android smartwatches that have this feature. According to Google, "when a hard fall is detected and about 30 seconds passes with no movement, your Pixel Watch will vibrate, sound an alarm, and display an on-screen notification to check if you need help."

(Image credit: Google)

From the notification that appears, you will have a couple of different prompts to choose from. These include "I fell & I need help" or you can tap the "I'm OK" button to turn off the alarm and get rid of the notification. However, in the event that you don't interact with the notification, Google states the alarm will "continue for about a minute." And if you still don't respond after that time has elapsed, then your Pixel Watch will attempt to automatically notify emergency services.

All of this is being done through a combination of the built-in motion sensors on your Pixel Watch, along with on-device machine learning. In order to properly contact emergency services in the event of a fall, those with the Wi-Fi-only Pixel Watch will need to be "in range of your phone and connected with Bluetooth." Those with the LTE variant will simply need an "active LTE connection on your watch," removing the reliance on your smartphone. 

As we've previously stated, you'll need to manually enable Fall Detection in order to take advantage of this new feature. This can be done either from the Pixel Watch app on your connected phone or from the Safety & Emergency section directly on your Pixel Watch. 

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.