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A small backup battery in cell phones that's never used
for 911 calls when the main battery is dead.
There would be a small "911 Emergency Power" button
phone that would turn it on and automatically dial 911
if the main battery was out of juice.
You could also do
it with one battery by having the phone
shut off when there's
just enough power for one more call and only allow that
backup power to be used to call 911.
The button would obviously bypass any phone lock codes.
You'd just hold it in for 5 seconds, the screen would come
to life and say "Did you mean to call 911?", and you'd
My eight year old's idea. (with a couple of suggestions
thrown in by Dad)
Things with Strings
A possible alternative to a battery. [Vernon, May 28 2012]
||Except that,... intelligence agencies might abuse it. However, the good (saved lives) seem to out-weight the downside [+].
||Hmm. Might be baked, but there was nothing in
the link referring to reserve power that could be
used for 911 calls only. There was 911 bypassing
phone lock codes and something about a mystical
number you put in to get emergency power from
your phone but that's about it.
||Problem with emergency power not linked to 911,
I'm using it whenever my phone dies as would
anybody else. "Sorry honey, my phone died, had
to switch to backup power. What were you saying
about Dancing with the Stars?" Then when that
dies, it's useless to
call 911 if you happen to need it.
||I'm sometimes out and about when my
cellphone runs out of juice. I'd pay
extra to know I had still had a link to 911 even if
||Sure, you could also carry a backup battery as well.
Or a backup cellphone for that matter.
||Yea, you know, if they don't do that, they should.
||I'm still not seeing this in any of the links.
||The idea, to clarify, is to not be able to get that last
bit of juice out of the phone without calling 911 and
I don't think that's been done.
||Problem is getting the smart phone on though, so
you could type SOS or 911 onto a keypad in old flip
but you'd need some kind of emergency button or
combination of buttons on a smart phone to get it
on in the first place since presumably it's dead.
||I find it hard to believe this hasn't been done yet,
but if it hasn't, my eight year old daughter has her
||Ever since I started riding, I've wondered why cars don't
have fuel reserve valves like motorcycles do. It would seem
that some do after all.
||Instead of having a specific button, when your
smart phone runs out of power and shuts off, you
push and hold the
power button and the screen comes on with
"Emergency Reserve Power Activated For 911 Calls
Only - Do You Need To Call 911?"
||If you push "NO" the phone shuts off again.
||If you push "YES" and the keypad comes on the
screen and only the 9 and 1 are illuminated, the
rest of the numbers are dark and not activated, so
still have to actually dial 911 thus eliminating
accidental calls, but you couldn't call anything
||Everything could probably be done as a software
upgrade to work on existing phones. No expensive
hardware changed needed.
||If this really hasn't been thought of I might patent
this and offer to sell it to Apple or Google for a
quarter of a million bucks for my daughter's
college fund. The publicity of having their latest
smart phone feature invented by an eight year old
would be worth that money alone. That's a prime
time news story on all the major news outlets.
You can't buy advertising like that at any price.
Apple or Google reading this?
||// Most modern cars have a 'low fuel' light that comes on
right before the last gallon or two is used. //
||Really? So that's why that light always comes on a little
while before the tank runs dry! Wow, what an incredibly
thoughtful and useful feature. And to think that I've been
driving for sixteen years without knowing that! Thank you
[21 Quest], for pointing that out to me. You're a swell guy!
||I think it could be done with one of those zinc-air batteries - the ones which come sealed, and don't activate until you remove the tab. The phone would have to boot up again, of course, and this would be an opportunity to have it only bring up essential services (don't bring up the web browser or Sprint Nascar Online or The NFL App...) You would probably still want to be able to do text messages, because not all emergencies require 911. ("Mom, sorry I didn't come home last night... Could you come get me? And bring me some clothes?")
||Well, that's fine until you call mom about that change of underwear with your last bit of emergency juice on the backup battery then your phone dies and you need to call 911 for some reason.
||Speaking for myself, and probably most other people, a perfectly acceptable use for that "absolutely positively only to be used in dire life or death emergencies" backup battery is calling ahead to order that pizza I'm picking up on the way home. If it's 911 only, 911 will always be there which is about the only point of having an always-on-hand emergency system. Otherwise it's an almost-always-on-hand emergency system.
||But your post gives me an idea for a funny tweak of this design. You could have numbers available for calling matched in order of importance to available battery life. Lots of battery, call anybody you want. As the battery runs out, only calls of progressively increasing importance can be made so you don't waste your juice. So you'd try to call Marge to see what happend on last night's soap opera and your phone would say "Sorry, you only have half your battery life left, Marge isn't important enough to talk to." Hmm, how about Sally? "Sally? That blowhard? You're going to waste your last 20 minutes of battery life on her? Not if I can help it. How about calling your Grandma in Wisconsin? What's the last time you did that?" How about I call the phone dealership and get you replaced? "Dialing Marge."