June 18, 2024
Google partners with RapidSOS to enable 911 contact through RCS


Google said today it is partnering with RapidSOS, a platform for emergency first responders, to enable users to contact 911 through RCS (Rich Messaging Service).

The company noted that with RapidSOS’s solution, it will start deploying the technology this winter to users where text-to-911 capabilities are not available. Initially, this feature will be available only to Google Messages users.

According to AccesSOS, a non-profit working on emergency contact, only 54% of 911 call centers in the U.S. provide text-to-911 services. So, Google’s new feature will help users who are stuck in areas where they might not be able to get in touch with emergency services through call or text. As this feature is based on RCS, which enables rich messaging and media support, users can send pictures and videos to emergency services for better context.

Image Credits: Google

“Emergency texting with RCS in Google Messages will bring critical safety communications capabilities previously unavailable to users when they need it most,” Elmar Weber, GM of Android Business Communications, said in a statement.

“Our goal is to make RCS the standard for emergency services texting everywhere, and we’re inviting the ecosystem to partner with us to provide reliable emergency messaging for everyone.”

Google said that 911 with RCS also enables users to confirm the delivery of their messages and check if first responders are actively responding to them. Plus, Android’s emergency location services can provide information such as accurate location and device language to emergency responders to better help people in need and opt-in medical information.



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