Google is bringing fall detection to the Pixel Watch without having to launch new hardware.
In a blog post, the company announced that it is rolling out fall detection to its smartwatch today. Like competing smartwatches, the Pixel Watch will use the motion sensors built into the hardware and machine learning to figure out if a user has fallen.
Once activated, fall detection uses motion sensors built in to 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.1 You can turn the feature on in the ‘Updates’ page on the Watch Companion app or directly on the Pixel Watch in the Personal Safety app.
Google says that the safety feature will kick in if it detects that you have taken a hard fall and have not moved for 30 seconds. Once activated, the watch will vibrate, sound an alarm, and display a notification for the user to either say that they are okay or to contact emergency services. If the user is unresponsive, the alarm will get louder over the course of a minute and call emergency services on its own after that time expires.
The company says that they have tested the feature to ensure that it doesn’t accidentally activate during regular activities such as skiing and working out. That mention of skiing is looking directly at the Apple Watch. I see you, Google.
Worried that doing burpees or hitting the ski slopes will trigger an accidental emergency call? Your Pixel Watch knows the difference between taking a hard fall and performing a vigorous physical activity or even quickly recovering from a small stumble — thanks to our machine learning algorithms and rigorous testing. The motion sensors and algorithms can monitor for a sudden impact and your body’s responses and instinctive reactions to falling. We trained this process using a broad variety of human and simulated fall data and other motion patterns to accurately detect real falls and minimize potential false alarms.
The feature brings the safety offerings of the Pixel Watch closer to that of the Apple Watch. Both devices now offer safety features like fall detection, car crash detection, and Emergency SOS. Speaking of Pixel and Apple, the Pixel 7’s Magic Eraser feature is now on iPhone.