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This Apple patent imagines an easier way to call 911 for help

Apple was granted a patent yesterday that could make it easier for people to dial 911 from their iPhones. As CNBC reports, the feature would allow users to make calls to emergency services without giving away the fact that they are doing so. That could mean that when an emergency strikes, you won’t have to patiently tap your home button or enter your passcode, remember how to use your iPhone as an actual phone and then dial 911 all while White Walkers descend upon you. Instead, according to the patent, tech could sense the “manner” in which a finger touched the iPhone screen to trigger a 911 call. The emergency alert could be triggered by a sequence of finger use (middle finger-middle finger-middle finger) or tapping that could activate “panic command” and secretly alert the authorities and provide the user’s location.

The patent was first applied for in 2013 and doesn’t necessarily mean Apple is planning to release an actual product. Of course as Gizmodo points out, just being able to alert the police won’t help if the police take too long to show up—or never show up at all. ML