Google unveils its new ‘Safety Check’ feature on Pixel smartphones

Over the past few months, Google has frequently flighted new Android features on its Pixel smartphones, whereafter (if you’re lucky) users enjoying other smartphone brands are able to experience those features for themselves after receiving Android updates.

The Mountain View company’s latest release is an interesting one – building on from its previous demonstration of collision detection (which would potentially detect and alert a user’s specified contacts in the event they were involved in a motor vehicle accident) the firm has now unveiled a new safety feature aptly dubbed Safety Check.

Designed for commuters, pedestrians, and those of us who might enjoy a classic jog in the evening or morning, Safety Check allows users to specify a time to ‘check-in’ on their phones (such as a time that they might imagine returning from the great outdoors to their home). When the feature is active and the time comes, a full-screen alert requires users to dismiss the prompt, begin sharing their location with chosen contacts, or contact emergency services.

In the event no response is received, Safety Check will automatically notify a user’s emergency contacts and supply a live location.

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The feature will likely be a welcome addition if it is effectively integrated with law enforcement agencies around the globe; though, notably, the feature itself can’t be set to automatically contact emergency services in a bid to prevent the abuse of contact channels.

Safety Check, should it roll out to general Android devices in the near future, would be complementary to a burgeoning suite of Digital Wellness services aboard devices running Android 10 or higher.

Just last year, Google published new rules requiring Android manufacturers to include digital wellness services within their devices, such as screen time logging and ‘wind down’ hours to prevent alerts from sounding.

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