Following a false start and multiple rumoured launches, Google is officially pushing fall detection out to the Pixel Watch.
Fall detection, for those unfamiliar, works exactly as it sounds. If the Pixel Watch detects that the wearer has fallen, it will automatically call emergency services for you. Now that it’s out, we know a little more about how Google’s take on fall detection will work.
First up, as noted by 9to5Google, the Pixel Watch should be able to tell between a hard fall and exercise (such as burpees, which could appear similar to a fall). Part of that is the Pixel Watch’s ability to check for recovery from a fall. For example, if the wearer doesn’t move for 30 seconds after a hard fall, the Pixel Watch will show the ‘Fall detected’ screen. It asks whether the wearer needs help or if they’re okay — tapping the “I’m OK” prompt will dismiss the screen.
The Fall detected screen also counts down and will vibrate and sound an alarm. After a minute of no response, the Pixel Watch will call emergency services and use an automated message detailing your current location and what happened. If the wearer can do so, they will be able to talk with the emergency operator.
9to5 reports there are some differences in how fall detection works depending on your Pixel Watch variant. The Wi-Fi model needs to be in the range of your phone and connected with Bluetooth in order to place a call to emergency services. However, the LTE variant of the Pixel Watch can place a call without your phone.
Fall detection is rolling out today — Pixel Watch owners can check the companion app on their phone and look for a card promoting the new feature in the ‘Updates’ feed (tap the speech bubble in the top-right corner). A prompt should also appear in the Personal Safety app. Finally, the Pixel Watch needs to be on version RWD9.220429.073 or newer.
At the time of writing, fall detection hadn’t appeared on my Pixel Watch even though it’s on the latest software. As with most things, Google is likely staggering the update — I expect it will arrive sometime soon.