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Stunt woman proves the fall detection feature on the Apple Watch S4 works as advertised

Updated 4 years ago
Published Oct 4th, 2018 7:12PM EDT
Apple Watch Series 4

Even though Apple still refuses to divulge Apple Watch sales figures, we’ve seen a few reports over the past few weeks which suggest that Apple Watch Series 4 orders have been through the roof. And with good reason, the Apple Watch Series 4 is unquestionably the most compelling wearable Apple has ever released. Aside from much-improved internals and a noticeably larger display, the Apple Watch Series 4 introduces a number of new health and fitness oriented features, including support for ECG monitoring.

Beyond that, the Apple Watch Series 4 also boasts a new and rather clever feature dubbed “fall detection.” As the name implies, the Apple Watch Series 4 can detect when a wearer takes a significant fall and will call for help if no movement is detected within a minute following said fall.

An Apple support document adds: “If Apple Watch Series 4 detects a significant, hard fall while you’re wearing your watch, it taps you on the wrist, sounds an alarm, and displays an alert. You can choose to contact emergency services or dismiss the alert by tapping “I fell, but I’m OK” or “I did not fall.”

During the company’s keynote event last month, Apple’s Jeff Williams explained that the company worked hard to ensure that the device only detects serious falls as opposed to everyday stumbles.

With that said, Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal recently set out to figure just how well the feature actually works in the real world. In a clever bit of strategy, Stern decided to use an actual Hollywood stunt double for testing purposes as to mimic a real-world fall as accurately as possible.

As Stern’s review notes, the Apple Watch Series 4 does a solid job of detecting when a serious fall has happened and does a respectable job of ignoring fake or insignificant falls. As a final point, it’s worth noting that the fall detection feature is only turned on by default for wearers who are 65 years or older.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.