Early cell phones offered a way to dial 911 wherever an emergency happened. People stuck in a ditch on the side of the road could make the call for services, for example, as long as they could reach the phone and dial. There have been several generations of mobile phones since then and capabilities have advanced immensely.
Just about every brand of cell phone today is equipped with GPS tracking devices. That means the location of the phone can be detected even if the phone is off. This gadget has saved lives in many situations. Finding missing elderly people with dementia, locating unconscious hikers or skiers who have been injured, and pinpointing the location of victims of abductions are a few examples of how the mobile phone can be used in an emergency.
There are some phones that have to be turned on for the tracking device to be activated, but more and more brands are including the devices that work when the phone is off. This is safer because those in precarious circumstances do not have to risk reaching into a pocket or having noise emanate from the phone when it is turned on.
Access to the Internet
Maps, instructions, poison control, and first aid techniques can all provide guidance and reference in an emergency. Internet access can also help prevent emergencies. People are less likely to get lost or suffer fatal allergic reactions when they can quickly get the information they need. Check out http://thefutureofthings.com/10683-just-911-phone-emergency/ for other ways the phone can help.
Many applications can be downloaded to phones to extend capabilities. A few new applications allow people to create files of vital information that can be sent at the touch of a button. Once the app is programmed, a severe diabetic can send medical information to 911 in case he passes out before help arrives.
Camera functions, voice recognition, and backup data are essential in an accident. People can take pictures of damages, license plates, and drivers. They can also call for help if injured. Audio recordings of details at the time are most helpful when recounting the event to an attorney in a day or two. They can also be used to piece together what happened if memory loss is suffered due to a concussion or trauma.