A new Apple patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today reveals that the company is working on an iOS app that will provide its customers with location-based emergency information.
The patent filing provides the background for developing the “Emergency” app:
When a person travels abroad, emergencies can occur. For example, the person can become injured in an accident, be a victim of a crime, or lose their travel documents. In such situations, having knowledge of contact information for local emergency services or the pertinent consular services can be beneficial.
A person may gather emergency services and consular services information before traveling. However, the process of gathering the information can be time-consuming, especially if the person’s itinerary includes stops in multiple countries. Given the many preparations a person often makes before traveling abroad, a person may neglect to gather the information entirely. A person may try to rely on local individuals or a phonebook for emergency services or consular services information while abroad, but such assistance may not be readily available when an emergency does occur.
Apple hopes to solve this issue with the “Emergency” app, which provides contact information of the emergency services based on geographical location. The app will contact the alternate contact number if the first contact number is not reachable.
The patent notes that an app for such location-based emergency information is a better solution as the information can always be kept up-to-date.
The patent titled “Location-Based Emergency Information” is credited to Apple Engineers Gregory N. Christie, Robert E. Borchers, Imran A. Chaudhri and also Apple’s ex-chief of iOS–Scott Forstall.