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  1. Peaceful_Moi's Avatar
    I'm at home, sitting gently down on the couch, and I got a false warning on Fall Detection. I am not aware of any hard hit or bump on the AW4. It's on Watch OS 5.0.1.
    09-29-2018 10:39 PM
  2. Tartarus's Avatar
    I'm at home, sitting gently down on the couch, and I got a false warning on Fall Detection. I am not aware of any hard hit or bump on the AW4. It's on Watch OS 5.0.1.
    That’s totally normal. Don’t worry about it.
    09-30-2018 02:31 AM
  3. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    That’s totally normal. Don’t worry about it.
    Please explain.
    09-30-2018 08:17 AM
  4. Tartarus's Avatar
    Please explain.
    In the brief time that I had a Series 4, when I wanted to enable it, there was a disclaimer in that screen saying that active people or people doing certain sports could get warnings even if they didn’t fall.
    I am drawing my own conclusion by this in that the fall detection is not fail proof and thus can give false positives at times.
    Last edited by Tartarus; 09-30-2018 at 10:29 AM.
    Annie_8plus and nikkisharif like this.
    09-30-2018 09:56 AM
  5. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    In the brief time that I had a Series 4, when I wanted to enable it, there was a disclaimer in that screen saying that active people or people doing certain sports could get warnings even if they didn’t fall.
    I am drawing my own conclusion by this in that the fall detection is not fail proof and thus can give false positives at time.
    Oh okay. I understand what you’re saying. Thanks for the follow-up...
    Annie_8plus likes this.
    09-30-2018 10:23 AM
  6. tcuprof's Avatar
    This surprises me because in nearly every review I've read the reviewer tried a fake fall to get a false positive and failed.
    Just_Me_D likes this.
    10-01-2018 04:24 PM
  7. Peaceful_Moi's Avatar
    This surprises me because in nearly every review I've read the reviewer tried a fake fall to get a false positive and failed.
    I got another false report this morning, while using a lopper to cut sunflowers. When i spoke to Apple Support, they thought it might be due to a third-party leather band being too loose on my wrist. So I am trying it now with an Apple sport loop.
    10-01-2018 05:09 PM
  8. Wotchered's Avatar
    I would have thought you would have known if you had fallen ! Oh wait.. does this tell your grandchildren ?
    nikkisharif likes this.
    10-02-2018 09:13 AM
  9. decarlo78's Avatar
    I knocked my watch of my bathroom sink and it gave me the fall detection. I was shocked because I wasn’t wearing the watch so I didn’t think that feature worked when not in use.
    10-02-2018 10:04 AM
  10. Tartarus's Avatar
    I knocked my watch of my bathroom sink and it gave me the fall detection. I was shocked because I wasn’t wearing the watch so I didn’t think that feature worked when not in use.
    That’s not the best way to try that feature out.
    10-02-2018 10:22 AM
  11. Choclit99's Avatar
    My very irate wife just gave me a call to complain about the fall detection feature. She is very active and was playing tennis and took a fall. The watch detected it, which was fine. But, she was wearing a glove and she wasn't sure what to do and was fumbling around for a while before she finally was able to touch the watch. Even then she wasn't sure whether or not it had called 911 (it hadn't) because she didn't fully understand how it works. I called 911 to let them know that if they got a call from the tennis center, to ignore it. Since I hadn't gotten a text message, I assumed that this was the case.

    All of this made me realize that this feature is not ready for prime time in several common situations. Here is a major one. I live in Wisconsin and during the winter, my watch will be under 2 or 3 layers of clothing plus I will be wearing gloves. It is VERY common to fall on the ice here and the watch will detect this. But, if I was momentarily dazed a bit, it is very likely that it would take me more than a minute to fully access the watch to be able to touch it and stop it from calling 911! I have to get my glove off, get at the watch, etc. You see the problem.

    Here is what I think needs to be changed to make this feature fully functional.

    1. I want the option to have the watch NOT automatically call 911 but just text my emergency contacts. With this option, it should tell me that by responding to the text with (say) "call 911", that will trigger the watch contacting 911 and giving the correct location. In practice, if I get a text message, I will try to call the person and if I can reach them, they can cancel the sequence or I can text back "ok" to cancel the sequence remotely.
    2. I think this should be a standard, not optional design change. If I take a fall and the watch doesn't move for one minute, start the sequence. However, if I start moving around, that should switch the watch to a mode where it will no longer passively call 911. I can then actively call 911 if injured, but if I just get up and become active again, that should shut off the sequence.
    3. I should be able to shut off the sequence by a Siri command, e.g., "Hey Siri, I am OK" or "Hey Siri, don't call 911", etc.


    Until I can have some or all of these changes, I am going to have to turn off the feature. Unfortunately, this was one of the main reasons for buying the watch in the first place!
    10-14-2018 10:49 AM
  12. Rob Phillips's Avatar
    My very irate wife just gave me a call to complain about the fall detection feature. She is very active and was playing tennis and took a fall. The watch detected it, which was fine. But, she was wearing a glove and she wasn't sure what to do and was fumbling around for a while before she finally was able to touch the watch. Even then she wasn't sure whether or not it had called 911 (it hadn't) because she didn't fully understand how it works. I called 911 to let them know that if they got a call from the tennis center, to ignore it. Since I hadn't gotten a text message, I assumed that this was the case.

    All of this made me realize that this feature is not ready for prime time in several common situations. Here is a major one. I live in Wisconsin and during the winter, my watch will be under 2 or 3 layers of clothing plus I will be wearing gloves. It is VERY common to fall on the ice here and the watch will detect this. But, if I was momentarily dazed a bit, it is very likely that it would take me more than a minute to fully access the watch to be able to touch it and stop it from calling 911! I have to get my glove off, get at the watch, etc. You see the problem.

    Here is what I think needs to be changed to make this feature fully functional.

    1. I want the option to have the watch NOT automatically call 911 but just text my emergency contacts. With this option, it should tell me that by responding to the text with (say) "call 911", that will trigger the watch contacting 911 and giving the correct location. In practice, if I get a text message, I will try to call the person and if I can reach them, they can cancel the sequence or I can text back "ok" to cancel the sequence remotely.
    2. I think this should be a standard, not optional design change. If I take a fall and the watch doesn't move for one minute, start the sequence. However, if I start moving around, that should switch the watch to a mode where it will no longer passively call 911. I can then actively call 911 if injured, but if I just get up and become active again, that should shut off the sequence.
    3. I should be able to shut off the sequence by a Siri command, e.g., "Hey Siri, I am OK" or "Hey Siri, don't call 911", etc.


    Until I can have some or all of these changes, I am going to have to turn off the feature. Unfortunately, this was one of the main reasons for buying the watch in the first place!
    I don’t know, it seems simple enough to me. 911 is only called if there’s no movement for a minute. Otherwise 911 is not called. Nonetheless it wouldn’t hurt to submit feedback directly to Apple at https://www.apple.com/feedback/?afid...bId2=vbim#mn_p. I’m sure the feature will evolve over time.
    nikkisharif likes this.
    10-14-2018 09:18 PM
  13. Choclit99's Avatar
    Actually, that is what I thought myself but I called Apple support and was told that this is not the way it works. I was told that you must touch the screen to cancel the call. It does appear that in addition to indicating that you are OK, if you press the crown and return to the home screen, that also shuts off the sequence.

    By the way, I thought she had fallen during tennis. That was not the case. She was just playing when it went into fall detection mode.

    Even worse, a few hours later, she was trying on some clothing at a store and it again flipped into fall detection mode. I don't know what is going on with this yet. I will call Apple tomorrow. For now, I have turned off fall detection entirely on her watch.

    Not a good start...
    10-14-2018 09:46 PM
  14. TechnologyTwitt's Avatar
    The issue here isn't the watch...

    But, she was wearing a glove and she wasn't sure what to do and was fumbling around for a while before she finally was able to touch the watch. Even then she wasn't sure whether or not it had called 911 (it hadn't) because she didn't fully understand how it works.
    10-15-2018 05:23 AM
  15. doogald's Avatar
    Apple has fall detection turned on by default only for people 65 years old and older. If you and your wife are active, I'd say that even if you are that age, you may not be who this feature was designed for. Remember, if you need to call emergency services with the watch, you have always been able to do that with a long-press of the side button. If you've fallen that may be a better solution for you and your wife.

    I have read now of a few anecdotal cases of false fall detection. Perhaps Apple should have tested this a little bit better? (Or perhaps they are testing it now?)

    Also, I wonder if a minute is longer than you think. And as I recall the feature, it waits a minute and then starts a 15 second countdown with an alarm and haptics before it calls emergency services unless you tap the control to turn it off. The alarm becomes louder and louder as the countdown continues, so you'll know it's about to happen (as will people around you). In the past I have fallen on ice, I have fallen while running, both while wearing multiple layers and gloves, and I really think that a minute and fifteen seconds is longer than you think it is. I do think that you'll be able to get to the watch in such a case. (Maybe I'm wrong, though.)

    But, again, maybe fall detection just isn't for you. I know that in the case of your wife I would also turn it off if it happens so unreliably, even if she is 65+.
    Rob Phillips and woosie94 like this.
    10-15-2018 05:37 AM
  16. Rob Phillips's Avatar
    Actually, that is what I thought myself but I called Apple support and was told that this is not the way it works. I was told that you must touch the screen to cancel the call. It does appear that in addition to indicating that you are OK, if you press the crown and return to the home screen, that also shuts off the sequence.

    By the way, I thought she had fallen during tennis. That was not the case. She was just playing when it went into fall detection mode.

    Even worse, a few hours later, she was trying on some clothing at a store and it again flipped into fall detection mode. I don't know what is going on with this yet. I will call Apple tomorrow. For now, I have turned off fall detection entirely on her watch.

    Not a good start...
    From https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208944

    “If your Apple Watch detects that you're moving, it waits for you to respond to the alert and won't automatically call emergency services. If your Apple Watch detects that you're immobile for about a minute, it begins a 15-second countdown, while tapping you on the wrist and sounding an alert. The alert gets louder, so that you or someone nearby can hear it. When the countdown ends, your Apple Watch automatically contacts emergency services.”

    I’m not sure what calling Apple Support is going to do. It’s a matter of your wife not understanding how to use her Apple Watch. If you live near an Apple Store you might want to look into a free course called “Basics: Apple Watch”. It’s a free, instructor-led class.
    Tartarus likes this.
    10-15-2018 05:42 AM
  17. Choclit99's Avatar
    I spent quite a bit of team researching all of this and just spent 30 minutes on the phone talking to Apple support. It has been a very informative 24 hours...

    First, the good news: with one exception, Apple did a very good job on the design of the fall detection feature (as you would expect, given that this is Apple we are talking about...). Here is exactly how it works (expect for one minor detail I forgot to clarify):

    • When a fall is detected, the fall detection watch face comes up with tactile cues.
    • That starts a one minute timer. If you move (not clear how much) during that minute, the automatic 911 call out feature is stopped.
    • If you don't move for one minute, then at one minute a loud alarm goes off with a 15 second count time timer to automatically call 911 with your location and also text your emergency contacts.
    • If you do move, you still have the option to call 911 but must do it manually.
    • If you indicate that you did fall but are OK, that resets everything.
    • If you indicate that you did not fall, it pops up a message asking if you want to send details to Apple to improve this feature. The watch maintains a record of your gyroscopic and accelerometer info for the past few seconds (not clear how long) and sends it to Apple for future analysis. Important: the watch does NOT immediately learn and evolve like Face ID does. It will require a future software release to have improved fall detection.


    Now the bad news:

    • Assuming that you move during the one minute and accidently hit the crown will trying to figure out what to do (exactly what my wife did). At that point, the fall detection screen disappears, which is not good. There is apparently a way to get back to that screen, but I forgot to ask how. I suspect it touching the top of the watch where you would touch to get the password screen but don't know for sure.
    • Only some of this information is currently available online from Apple.
    • Most people reviewing the watch don't know most of this so there is a lot of incorrect information on this.
    • Apple tech support doesn't know most of this, which is why the person I talked to yesterday gave me incorrect information. The tech support person today was more knowledgeable, but it took her about 5 minutes talking with higher ups to answer several of my questions. She indicated that my call will lead to better internal training on all of this and improved knowledgebase articles, so with any luck, my half hour on the phone this morning was productive.


    I have already seen that others have requested one of the changes I did yesterday - the option to NOT call 911 automatically but just text your emergency contact list so I expect that option will be available quickly. I suggested that it be implemented so any of your emergency contacts can trigger a 911 call from your watch remotely. We will see.

    This is a very important feature to get right as quickly as possible, both because of the medical benefit and also because it will lead to increased sales to one target audience that really needs this: elderly folks who really need fall detection and automatic calling but refuse to wear one of those dorky pendants. I mentioned this to my doctor a couple of days ago and he has several patients who fit that category who would be very willing to wear one of these cool new Apple watches but wouldn't be caught dead (pun intended) with a "Help! I've fallen and can't get up" neck or wrist pendant. :-)
    doogald and palmujukka like this.
    10-15-2018 09:45 AM
  18. doogald's Avatar
    “If your Apple Watch detects that you're moving, it waits for you to respond to the alert and won't automatically call emergency services. If your Apple Watch detects that you're immobile for about a minute, it begins a 15-second countdown, while tapping you on the wrist and sounding an alert. The alert gets louder, so that you or someone nearby can hear it. When the countdown ends, your Apple Watch automatically contacts emergency services
    FWIW, this is ambiguous about what happens if you are moving but do not respond to the alert. It's really not all that clear what happens in that case. And if the watch is mistaking normal movement for a fall, how do we know that it can be trusted to detect movement within a minute properly?
    10-15-2018 10:58 AM
  19. mogelijk's Avatar
    FWIW, this is ambiguous about what happens if you are moving but do not respond to the alert. It's really not all that clear what happens in that case. And if the watch is mistaking normal movement for a fall, how do we know that it can be trusted to detect movement within a minute properly?
    My understanding, at least from what I've seen, is that no "alert" pops up immediately. What I've seen is that if it detects a fall, it then waits a minute to see if you move. If it detects movement, it won't create the alert -- the alert only occurs after you've fallen and it detects no movement for a minute.

    I'd also mention, as someone pointed out above, Apple only turns this feature on for those 65 and older. I suspect Apple knows it needs more fine tuning, particularly if people are active, which is why they limited it that way. I'm sure it will improve but, again, if you have an active lifestyle then I'd recommend keeping the feature turned off.
    10-15-2018 01:27 PM
  20. doogald's Avatar
    I spent quite a bit of team researching all of this and just spent 30 minutes on the phone talking to Apple support. It has been a very informative 24 hours...
    Excellent, thanks for researching and posting back. Clearly even Apple's support page for this could have better details.

    Assuming that you move during the one minute and accidently hit the crown will trying to figure out what to do (exactly what my wife did). At that point, the fall detection screen disappears, which is not good. There is apparently a way to get back to that screen, but I forgot to ask how.
    So, I'm not sure if this is true, but when you are in an app and go back to a watch face, double-pressing the crown brings you back to your most recent app. (Try it sometime, with a different app, of course.) That may be what brings you back in this case, though, of course, I cannot tell for sure without a S4 and without trying to fall in a way that would trigger the alert.
    Tartarus likes this.
    10-15-2018 03:04 PM
  21. Rob Phillips's Avatar
    FWIW, this is ambiguous about what happens if you are moving but do not respond to the alert. It's really not all that clear what happens in that case. And if the watch is mistaking normal movement for a fall, how do we know that it can be trusted to detect movement within a minute properly?
    Of course it’s ambiguous, it’s Apple.
    At the end of the day I’d rather have to deal with an occasional misfire than not have the feature when I really need it. The Watch gives the user plenty of time to cancel the 911 call.
    10-15-2018 06:36 PM
  22. nikkisharif's Avatar
    In the brief time that I had a Series 4, when I wanted to enable it, there was a disclaimer in that screen saying that active people or people doing certain sports could get warnings even if they didn’t fall.
    I am drawing my own conclusion by this in that the fall detection is not fail proof and thus can give false positives at times.
    Just bumping this for those that missed it.
    Tartarus likes this.
    10-15-2018 09:05 PM
  23. decarlo78's Avatar
    That’s not the best way to try that feature out.
    It was an accident. I charge my watch on the bathroom counter.
    Tartarus likes this.
    10-15-2018 11:15 PM
  24. msboc's Avatar
    Not from leather band as I’ve had the same thing happen with my sports band.
    10-19-2018 07:07 PM
  25. msboc's Avatar
    My fall sensor has gone off when I’ve been doing virtually nothing, e.g. gently placing my watch on a towel on the counter, putting my hand on my steering wheel, sitting and talking. I’m guessing it’s not ready for prime time.
    10-19-2018 07:10 PM
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