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Google's Pixel Watch gets fall detection starting today

Google is announcing fall detection for Pixel Watch starting today. Like the eponymous Apple Watch feature introduced in 2018, Google’s version uses motion sensors and algorithms to determine if you’ve fallen and need assistance. However, Google says it won’t accidentally call emergency services in winter sports accidents like the Apple Watch’s collision detection does.

After 30 seconds, it will vibrate, sound an alarm and display a checking you message on the screen. If the fall wasn’t severe, tap the “I’m fine” button to dismiss the alarm; if you want it to call 911, tap “I fell and need help.” Otherwise, the sound lasts for about a minute and gets louder in the last few seconds. If you haven’t responded to the alert by then, it will automatically contact emergency services, playing them an automated message asking for help in your location. (You also have the option to speak to a 911 operator through your watch.)

You can do so on the Updates page of the Watch Companion app on your paired phone or in the Personal Safety app on your Pixel Watch.

Google says its fall detection should avoid false positives. “Worried about doing burpees or going to the ski slopes to trigger an unexpected emergency call?” Google wrote in its announcement. “Thanks to our machine learning algorithms and rigorous testing, your Pixel Watch knows the difference between a hard fall and intense physical activity, and even recovers quickly from a minor fall. Motion sensors and algorithms detect sudden impacts and Your body reacts and reacts instinctively to a fall. We train this process using a variety of human and simulated fall data, as well as other motion patterns, to accurately detect real falls and minimize potential false positives.”

Google adds that you can provide data to help it improve the feature by toggling the “Help improve fall detection” option. This will send motion sensor data of any detected falls to the company.



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