What just happened? Not for the first time, an Apple Watch user is alive because of the wearable. In this instance, a Norwegian man who collapsed on his bathroom floor and suffered skull fractures survived after the fall detection feature summoned emergency services.
67-year-old Toralv Østvang will no doubt be thankful he was wearing his Apple Watch 4 when he went to the bathroom in the middle of the night. It’s believed that he fainted, and the resulting fall caused three fractures in his skull.
Responding to the watch’s alert, paramedics found Østvang “bloody and unconscious” half an hour later, according to NRK. Had he not been discovered, it's unlikely that Østvang would have survived the night.
Østvang’s daughter, Kirsti, said he never took his phone into the bathroom, or previously considered using any form of fall alert.
Thanks to the Apple Watch 4’s accelerometer and gyroscope, it can detect when a wearer falls over. The device then asks if everything is okay. Should it fail to receive a response and the person is immobile for a full minute, it will automatically call 911 (or the local equivalent) and send a message along with location data. The feature is switched on by default for users aged 65 and over.
While smartwatches haven’t taken the world by storm, Apple’s wearables remain popular. A lot of that success is down to their focus on health and fitness, with the ECG functionality in the latest version also credited with saving lives.