Apple can extend satellite capabilities beyond emergency SOS; New patent clues on video streaming, calls
Apple unveiled its new Satellite Emergency SOS feature at the September launch of the iPhone 14 series and made it available on its latest phones in the US and Canada in November. Since then, the satellite-based emergency SOS function has already helped people in distress, according to news reports. A new patent acquired by Apple on Tuesday suggests the company could offer even more satellite-powered features in the future. According to a report, the patent goes “far beyond” the emergency SOS service and the satellite function could extend to video streaming, phone calls and more.
According to a report by Patently Apple, the tech giant’s new patent hints at future services related to satellite communication, including TV streaming, calls and data. Apple acquired the new patent, titled “Communication Terminal,” from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on December 13.
“Satellite communications data transmitted by #28 transceivers and #30 antenna radiators may include multimedia data (e.g. streaming video, television data, satellite radio data, etc.), voice data (e.g., telephone voice data), internet data, and/or any other desired data,” the report said citing the patent. The report also states that the patent lists some of the inventors who worked on the feature. Apple’s emergency SOS via satellite.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant’s satellite technology was recently enabled on iPhone 14 models in the UK, Germany, France and Ireland. The service is already active in the United States and Canada.
The feature, in its current state, is text-only and allows users to contact emergency services in the absence of cellular and Wi-Fi in the event of an emergency. The service also allows users to share their satellite location through the Find My app on their iPhone. The Satellite Emergency SOS feature is free for the first two years. This month, the iPhone 14’s SOS satellite feature came to the rescue of a man stranded in Alaska.