Apple's Siri appears to have saved a pregnant woman in Wales, allowing a four-year-old child to easily call for help after his mom lost consciousness.
Beau Austin of Pembrokeshire, South Wales, discovered his mother, Jess, had fainted due to the side effects of morning sickness medication. The child, who was used to talking to digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, used his initiative to ask his mother's iPhone to dial the UK's emergency number 999 for him, putting Beau through to an operator.
The BBC reports he told the operator "my mummy's sick," and while Ms Austin did recover enough to confirm her address, she fainted a second time. Beau was then coached by the operator on ways to keep his mother conscious until the ambulance arrived.
"It was just me and Beau in the house by ourselves, so he did really, really well," said Ms Austin. "To use Siri like that is incredible. I didn't even know you could do that on a phone."
Beau claims he learned how to ask Siri to call for help after seeing it done on TV.
"As call handlers we are trained to talk to callers through potential emergencies, and it was Beau's knowledge of technology, awareness of his address, and staying calm that really made a difference and helped his mum and us," advised Ashley Page, the Welsh Ambulance Service operator who took the call from Beau.
As a reward, Beau was visited at his school by the ambulance service's mascot Jack and the Patient Experience and Community Involvement team, where he was presented a certificate and a goodie bag.
"Beau's story shows how important it is for children to know their home address, including their postcode ideally," advised Fiona Maclean, Service User Experience Manager for the PECI team. "We engage with schools and communities to encourage children to learn their home address and what to do in an emergency."
Aside from being able to request emergency services via Siri, Apple has been steadily improving the ability for its products to get assistance for its users as quickly as possible. The release of iOS 12 enabled emergency services in the United States to gain more data from a 911 call via RapidSOS technology, and the Apple Watch Series 4 includes a fall detection feature that can call for help automatically.
Other notable cases where Apple's products helped in emergencies include the Apple Watch's SOS feature bringing aid after a crash by a drunk driver in late 2017, and Siri being used to call for help following a motorcycle crash in Australia. On Monday, it was revealed an iPhone was instrumental in helping call for help after a chartered boat capsized off the coast of Japan.