Think 911 Can Always Find Your Cell Phone? Think Again.

The Thursday night crime show lineup on ABC leads us to believe that when a victim dials 911 on their cell phone, a dispatcher will send a chorus of sirens onto the scene within minutes.

Tragically, situations like this often play out way differently in real life. You'd think that because apps like Uber and Instagram can geotag us in an instant, the technology in emergency call centers would be well-equipped to find us fast in our most vulnerable moments. Not so.

In reality, it typically goes down like this: a victim dials 911. That call bounces off the closest cell phone tower via satellite, connecting the victim to the closest emergency call center. The cell phone carrier then narrows the caller’s location down to an area of 100 to 300 square meters by measuring the distance between the nearest towers.

In rural areas, an emergency situation can be pinpointed fairly quickly within that distance. But in densely populated urban areas, the victim may be a needle in a haystack tucked away in a large apartment building or in the dark corner of a tree-strewn park.

Sounds deeply inefficient, right? It gets worse. If the nearest tower happens to be overwhelmed with volume in the instant of the call, the victim’s phone will be redirected to a more distant tower. GPS technology can fill the gaps when this happens, but only if the cell phone is accurately calibrated to the victim’s most recent location.

For avid followers of true crime reporting (looking at you, Serial fans) the perils of cell phone tower triangulation may be old news. But for the majority of Americans, this massive safety gap is vastly unknown.

Essentially, 911 was designed to respond to easily pinpointed landline calls and has yet to catch up to cellular technology. But in a world where approximately 50 percent of households have ditched their landline entirely, this is a huge problem. 

Even in Silicon Valley, the very epicentre of technology and innovation, recent reports suggest that only three out of 10 calls to 911 carried accurate location reports to local dispatchers.

That's where the Revolar safety wearable's alerts are designed to swiftly address this troubling technology blunder. This little wearable button can send out a Yellow Alert that shares your real-time location with friends and loved ones with two simple clicks. And if you need an emergency response, 3 or more clicks can let your trusted contacts know you need help.

That way, even if you don't have time to make a call or don't know where you are, you can send your real-time location to trusted contacts who can tell the operator where to send help.

Protect yourself and your loved ones with the button that sends for help at your location. Learn more about Revolar safety wearables.