Panic buttons in handsets: Govt sets Jan 2017 deadline

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Sending out an SOS signal for help will soon be literally at the click of a button. Taking a step forward towards equipping women with safety measures, the Telecom ministry has announced that all phones will have panic buttons starting January 1st next year.

Putting an exact date to introducing this measure, Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad made this statement, “Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women… from January 1, 2017, no cell phone can be sold without a provision for panic button and from January 1, 2018 mobile sets should have also GPS inbuilt,” as quoted by India Today.

He also mentioned that all mobile phone devices, not just smart phones would need to have an in-built GPS navigation systems to track the victim. The date set for this directive to be implemented is set at is 2018.

Panic button on mobile devices

A distress signal at the click of a button ( Picture Credit: gizbot.com)

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From 2017, the number 5 and 9 key in every mobile phone will act as emergency buttons. When a person presses these keys for a longer period, it will generate an emergency call to the police. One more method to start an emergency call is to press the on and off button in the smartphones thrice in quick successions.

This step from the Telecom ministry follows a recommendation made by Women and Child development minister Maneka Gandhi last year. The ministry put forward this idea for the safety of women and consequently got it approved from the centre, which has now culminated in the announcement by the Telecom ministry.

As far as enabling women with technology for safety, it’s a welcome step, but it will no doubt need the cooperation of phone manufacturers across the board.

Feature Image Credit: thebetterindia.com