Pixel Watch's new fall detection could be a life saver — here's how to enable it

Google Pixel Watch
(Image credit: Future)

The Pixel Watch is a beautiful fledgling smartwatch from Google, but it is still playing catchup on a number of features that the Apple Watch has offered for years, but today it is checking another box on that list.

Google's latest update brings fall detection to the Pixel Watch, allowing users to enable the setting which will first signal those around them in the event of a fall and ultimately connect the user to emergency services. This has proven to be a life-saving feature for some Apple Watch users and if it works well could do the same for Pixel Watch owners. 

Here's a closer look at how Google is implementing the feature on Pixel Watch.

Google Pixel Watch

(Image credit: Future)

Help, I've fallen and I can't get up

You need to opt into this feature by toggling on fall detection, which will appear in the Updates page on your Watch Companion App or in the Personal Safety app. 

Once enabled the Pixel Watch will use its motion sensors and on-device machine learning to detect what it considers to be a hard fall. If it senses a hard fall and then you do not move for 30 seconds it will vibrate and sound an alarm with an on-screen notification asking if you need help. At that point you can either tap "I'm OK," or swipe the notification away if you are alright or you can tap "I fell & need help." The latter option will attempt to connect you to emergency services right away. 

If you fail to interact with any of those notifications on the watch it will trigger an increasingly loud alarm for a minute and then automatically call emergency services with an automated message that requests help at your location. If you are able to speak to emergency services at this point you can do so as well.

We'll be testing it out ourselves to see how well it performs, but Google indicates that it has run extensive tests to ensure that it won't confuse intense exercise or a slight slip for an actual fall.

This is a fantastic addition for anyone with mobility issues or a variety of other conditions that lend themselves to accidental falls that could be disastrous with a loss of consciousness, so it's great to see Google adding it to Pixel Watch. 

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.