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Google Pixel Watch updated with fall detection
A new safety feature comes to Google smartwatch
I reviewed the Google Pixel Watch on ZDNET when it launched in October and occasionally charge it up to test out new features and updates, pairing it with a Google Pixel 7 phone. It’s clearly an elegantly designed smartwatch and a decent first attempt from Google, but it hasn’t yet earned a permanent spot on one of my wrists.
Google just announced that fall detection is now available for the Google Pixel Watch. This is a key safety feature for watches and it is available on smartwatches and even connected GPS sports watches, using the accelerometers in the watch to detect a hard fall.
After updating your Pixel Watch, through your phone or directly on the watch, you can then enable the feature on the watch. If you take a hard spill and are not moving for about 30 seconds then the watch will vibrate, sound an alarm, and also prompt you on the display to verify if you need help or if you are fine. If the detection was errant, then you have a chance to clear it before any notifications are sent.
If the watch accurately detected an actual incident, then the alarm will continue for about a minute with volume increasing over time. The watch will then initiate a call to emergency services and play an automated message for the emergency service that you need help. You can also talk to emergency services, if you are able.
If you have a Pixel Watch with LTE integrated into the watch, then you do not need a phone nearby. If you have a WiFi model, then your watch must be connected to your phone for the call to go out to emergency services.
The Pixel Watch also supports an emergency SOS feature so you can contact emergency responders or your designated contacts if you are in a situation where you feel unsafe.
When I tested the Apple Watch Ultra during my Tough Mudder event, I had this fall detection feature activate twice since I hit the deck pretty hard a couple of times while tackling the challenging obstacles. I was able to clear the notification before any services were called, but am interested in seeing how well the Pixel Watch does with detection.
Given Google’s advanced machine learning capabilities and integration into the Pixel Watch, the fall detection system should not be activated with vigorous exercise or a simple trip. Google tested the functionality with burpees, jumping, and swimming.
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