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Cellphones Communications Government Hardware

Putting a Panic Button In Smartphone Users' Hands 175

Posted by timothy
from the menu-options-have-recently-changed dept.
theodp writes "If you own an Android phone, you may have inadvertently butt-dialed 911 from time-to-time. So, wonders Kix Panganiban, why don't our phones come with a universal 'Panic Button', that would make it just as easy to intentionally dial the police when it's truly needed? Panganiban envisions "a smartphone app that when triggered, would discreetly send out a distress message to contacts of your choice, and perhaps do some other functions that can get you out of bad (and maybe even life-threatening) situations." While a quick search reveals that some have taken a crack at apps that put a Panic Button in smartphone users' hands, are there good reasons why such a feature isn't just standard on mobile devices? And, with GPS and always-watching and always-listening tech only becoming cheaper and more ubiquitous, how far out in the future is it before your person can be continuously remotely monitored like your residence, even while mobile, and what might that look like?"
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Putting a Panic Button In Smartphone Users' Hands

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  • Sigh. (Score:5, Informative)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @11:41AM (#45753767)

    Apparently people have already forgotten this has been done before. Before there were smart phones, there were just plain cell phones... tiny little indestructible bricks with flip-open LCDs. And it was thought that having a fast way to call 911, a panic button if you will, would be a useful feature. So pressing and holding '9' on these phones would connect you to emergency services.

    This feature was redacted from all phones, everywhere, within a couple years, because it innundated emergency services with so-called "butt dials" and wrong numbers. You do not want '911' to be a one-button push on a mobile device. It ends badly.

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