The RapidSOS EC-1

Three digits, so little time. Numbers can take on profound cultural significance, but few numbers have quite the resonance as 911, the emergency number for the United States. Few want to dial it, but when they must, it works — every single time. One industry trade association estimates that 240 million 911 phone calls are […]

Smoking pizza ovens and pilfered dollar bills, or the early story of RapidSOS

The irony of 911 is that it’s a number that everyone knows (at least in the United States), and yet, no one really thinks about it. Few of us will dial 911 more than a handful of times in our lives, and even when we do, we will meet the police officers and paramedics who […]

RapidSOS learned that the best product design is sometimes no product design

Sometimes, the best missions are the hardest to fund. For the founders of RapidSOS, improving the quality of emergency response by adding useful data, like location, to 911 calls was an inspiring objective, and one that garnered widespread support. There was just one problem: How would they create a viable business? The roughly 5,700 public […]

After a decade, Congress might finally bring 911 into the internet age

When it comes to user-interface design, 911 is about as good as it gets. It’s the “most recognized number in the United States,” Steve Souder, a prominent 911 leader, points out. Simple, fast, and it works from any telephone in the United States. No matter what the emergency is, the call takers on the other […]

Carbyne raises $20M more so when death knocks, you don’t answer the door

Chaos and crisis are sisters, and none more so than when you dial for emergency help. A call to 911 in the United States (and urgent numbers globally) spins off a number of additional calls to emergency response teams, ambulances, hospitals and other actors who need to coordinate action to save your life. Theoretically, everyone […]

Cataclysms are a growth industry

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. For this week’s deep dive, Alex and Natasha dug into Danny’s latest mega-project: A long, fascinating and deeply reported series into the world of disaster tech. It’s all about the market, startups and their backers, so it was perfect fare […]

Guardian Circle upgrades with a decentralized alert network

Chris Hays and Mark Jeffrey wanted to create a way for everyone to be able to tell their loved ones if they were in trouble. Their first product, Guardian Circle, did just that, netting a mention a few years ago. Now the same team is truly decentralizing alerts with a new token called, obviously, Guardium. The […]

Carbyne wants to replace outdated 911 systems

Israel-based Carbyne has developed an emergency call-handling platform, supported by an ecosystem that integrates live video streaming, location services and texting capabilities. After Amir Elichai, founder and CEO, was robbed on Tel Aviv beach in 2013, he called the police and had to trudge through a tedious, long-winded conversation with the dispatcher (“Where are you, […]

iOS 12 will automatically share your iPhone’s location with 911 centers

Apple this morning announced a new feature in iOS 12 which will automatically share your location with first responders when U.S. users dial 911 using their iPhone. The move is meant to address the problems with dialing emergency services from a cell phone, where outdated infrastructure has made it difficult to obtain a mobile caller’s […]

Apple devices are butt dialing 9-1-1 from its refurbishing facility — 20 times per day

Since October, emergency responders in Elk Grove and Sacramento County, California have received more than 1,600 false alarm 9-1-1 calls coming from an Apple repair and refurbishing site in the area. It’s not clear if the calls are coming from Apple’s iPhones or Watches, but each time a call originates out of the Elk Grove […]