Back in 2009 I reported on 3GPP standardizing a feature for mobile devices and SIM cards referred to as 'In Case of Emergency' or ICE. The idea behind it was, and still is, to offer a standardized way to store emergency contacts and information and to give access to the information to first responders such as medics, doctors and hospital personnel. Standardized is the important word here because it should be easy for first responders to find and access the information. Unfortunately the idea never really took off, and I think that's a real shame for the mobile industry as a lot could be achieved to help in medical emergencies with little effort. But at least some parts of the idea seem to have made it into some mobile devices. Take a look at the picture of a recent Android device I saw in Korea that has a default 'ICE' group in the phone book. I don't know how much this will help in practice as I had no time to see if the information is accessible from the password screen. Without that the information would inaccessible to first responders as most people lock their devices these days. However, it's a first step and perhaps the idea will spread and be developed some more.
2 thoughts on “In Case Of Emergency (ICE) – On An Android Phone”
ICE would really be a good idea if the users were aware of it too. I mean it’s useless if the users doesn’t know how to maximize the use of their phone especially for their safety and emergency cases.
I don’t know about other OSs, but BlackBerrys allow a message to be displayed on the locked screen. I’ve had ICE and ‘if lost’ info in my message for many years. It has enabled the return of my trusty, uncompromised device back to me at least once.
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