Apple granted patent for ‘location support for emergency calls’

Apple wants your iOS device — mainly your iPhone — to assist you when emergency calls (such as those to 911) are made. The company has applied for a patent (number 9,386,414) for “location support for emergency calls.” 

The invention involves a system and method for submitting a location of a mobile device to a public service for providing emergency assistance are described. For example, an iPhone can determine that a user is making an emergency call and can then enable a location determination function of the mobile device and determine a location of the smartphone.

The mobile device can determine the location in multiple attempts, including, in a first time window, attempting to determine a location with low uncertainty and, if the attempt fails, determining a location with high uncertainty in a second time window. The iPhone can then submit the location to a dispatcher through a mobile network operator.