Watch 5 reports an emergency (that wasn’t) while skiing

I had an interesting experience last week. I was skiing with my brother and having a good time. At a certain point, I noticed that my watch was vibrating from time to time, but it was so far buried under my warm clothes and coat that I couldn’t get to it. Then my brother happens to mention that he had just received a call (though he also couldn’t get to his phone due to cold and clothing). At that point, we realize there might be something wrong with the family and so we agreed to stop and check our phones. Turns out my watch/phone had reported an emergency and therefore had notified my husband. My husband then called my brother in a bit of a panic.

When I checked my watch and phone, sure enough, I could see that it had been asking me if I was OK. Since I hadn’t been able to respond, it went ahead and did the auto-call to my husband.

I am curious about what my watch/phone thought was wrong. I had not fallen. I had skied at a fast pace and had had some quick stops. Could that have fooled it?

I have turned off fall detection and the auto-notify of my next of kin until after ski season is over.

After my Watch decided to call 911 during a theatre performance when I was clapping, and the watch assumed I had fallen, I turned off fall detection.

It might be a good idea for some – but sure seems like an annoyance.

Katie

You must have accelerated at close to gravity (9.8m/s^2), or perhaps decelerated quickly, to trigger the fall detection. Speed wouldn’t affect it, just acceleration or deceleration.

Fun fact: the derivative of acceleration is jerk. And the next three derivatives after jerk are … snap, crackle, and pop.

Fall detection is not auto-enabled for under 60s, and when you enable it it warns you that if you’re an active person the accelerometer may register a false positive and trigger the feature.

This is expected behaviour. Any sufficient jolt can trigger this safety feature.

You just need to make a choice about whether you’re happier to deal with the occasional false positive (which can generally be dismissed, it was a little awkward in your specific circumstance) or if you’d rather forego the added protection.

I suspect that if you’d actually fallen on a slope somewhere you’d have been very appreciative though :slight_smile:

I’ve had it go off while opening a door and also while changing bedsheets. Haven’t fallen yet, but I’m leaving fall detection on just in case (I’m 71).

I have had it while rough-housing with my dog on the floor, cutting grass and pulling weeds! You learn to recognize the watch buzzing to get your attention, and just dismiss the false-positive

Not sure if your watch said specifally that you have fallen but if not I would say you experienced the same thing as I did while driving a motorbike - when the hand is tilted upwords, the glove can press the side button which activates the emergency call.