Apple just turned its smartwatch and iPhone into automotive safety device.
On Wednesday during an event to debut the iPhone 14, Apple announced automotive crash detection for the Apple Watch Series 8, new Watch SE with WatchOS 9, and iPhone 14 with iOS 16.
Hardware changes for the Series 8 watch that enable crash detection include a three-axis gyroscope and an accelerometer that can measure force of up to 256 g.
In addition to the new hardware, the watch’s microphone, GPS, and barometer all now take constant readings. The data is fed into machine learning to detect when a car crash happens.
Apple also built crash detection into the iPhone. The phone will work with the Apple Watch’s sensors, but also detect a car crash independently whether an Apple Watch is present or not. Hardware changes to the iPhone 14 to enable crash detection include a high-definition gyroscope and a dual-core accelerometer.
Apple said its been studying front impact, side impact, rear impact, and rollover collisions for years to develop crash detection. The new feature is designed to detect a crash in passenger cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks.
Quick to quell privacy concerns, Apple noted all data is kept local to the hardware and is only processed around the time of the crash.
Apple said the Watch Series 8 will cost $399 for the GPS model and $499 for the cellular model. The new Watch SE will cost $249 for the GPS model and $299 for the cellular model. Orders for both will begin on Wednesday ahead of the launch on Sept. 16.
Set to launch alongside the Watch Series 8, the iPhone 14 will cost $799 with pre-orders starting Friday ahead of the Sept. 16 launch. The larger Plus model will cost $899 and while pre-orders will begin on Friday, those wanting the larger screen will have to wait as it launches on Oct. 7.
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