Falling is not really something most of us plan on doing. And you may know that faking a hard fall is tougher than it looks.
That’s what makes it hard to test the new fall detection system on the Apple Watch Series 4. Luckily, The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern has enlisted the help of someone who hits the ground for a living: a professional stuntwoman.
The Series 4 has a system that’s designed to detect a “significant, hard fall” when you’re wearing it. If it does, it sounds an alarm and displays an alert asking you if you’d like to contact emergency services with your location. If you’re immobile for more than a minute, it can do so automatically.
But does it actually work? That’s what Stern and Hollywood stunt double Evelyn Osorio Vaccaro — who has worked on “Luke Cage” and “Orange is the New Black” — intended to find out.
As Stern points out in a recently published YouTube video of the testing, the Series 4 does a great job at knowing whether you’ve actually taken a hard fall or if you’re just messing around.
In their testing, Stern and Vaccaro found that the new Apple wearable detected a hard fall during a boxing training match, a slip on a banana peel, and a trip. Interestingly, the Watch did not detect a trip and a tumble down a hill.
The Apple Watch Series 4’s fall detection system is automatically enabled for any wearer 65 years or older. For everyone else, the platform must be enabled using the Watch app.
As mentioned earlier, the Watch will automatically call emergency services with your location if you’re immobile for a minute after a fall. Otherwise, you can tap several options — including “I’ve taken a fall, but I’m OK.”
Of course, Stern points out that you’re probably not going to buy a $400 wearable just for fall detection.
But the Apple Watch Series 4 is also equipped with a number of new features, including a slimmer design, a 30 percent larger display, and louder speakers. It also sports a number of new health and wellness features, including a built-in ECG monitor (which will become available in a future software update).