This is a cool update from Google for the Pixel watch, adding fall detection to the steadily increasing feature set. The update hasn’t yet landed on our testing device, but the Google Blog post outlines how it will work.
Once activated, fall detection uses motion sensors built into your watch and on-device machine learning to determine if you’ve taken a hard fall and will call emergency services if you don’t move or respond within a certain timeframe.
The combination of a “hard fall” and no movement for a period of around 30 seconds is the primary trigger for the feature. When these combine, an alarm will trigger on the device, asking if you’re OK. If you fail to respond to this on the watch screen, or tap the notification saying you’ve fallen and need help then the next steps begin.
Your device will contact emergency services in your location, notifying them of your location and that you need help. If you’re able to — much like the car crash detection on Pixel devices — you can speak to the operator and confirm your situation.
Understandably, some users may be concerned that the feature could falsely trigger because they’re runners, or beasts at the gym. But the device will detect movement, and combined with increased heart rate prior to impacts, showing you’re working out and not actually dying. Of course, you’ve got the option to not opt-in to having the feature on if you’re a low fall risk, or you simply don’t want it on.
Got it this morning on my Pixel Watch.