During the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, I heard from Adrian Scrase for the first time that 3GPP has specified how to put information on the SIM card for "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) events, i.e. to help first responders to identify someone and to contact their next of kin.
A great idea and now that it is specified it will hopefully become a worldwide accepted feature. It's not in current phones and SIM cards yet so it will take a couple of years for the feature to be added. Let's keep our fingers crossed a critical mass is reached so people actually enter information and first responders actually use the feature.
As somebody asked me over at Forum Oxford at how it will work in practice, I've had a look at the standards:
- The user enters ICE information like names of persons, relation to these persons and phone numbers. For details see 3GPP TS 22.101, A28
- During an emergency, the information can be retrieved by pressing '* * *'. That's specified in 3GPP TS 22.030, 6.8
- The information is stored in a new file on the SIM card referred to as EF(ICE_DN) and the format is described in 3GPP TS 31.102