A few of our clients want to be able to use a smartphone to call for assistance if needed during the night.
Voice dialling is available on both iPhone (from iPhone 6S onwards) and Android phones, so that is not an issue. Auto answer is also available on iOS 11 and through various Android apps. That is also not a problem.
The problem comes if you try to call someone who doesn't answer and you get stuck in their voicemail – there is no way to end a call by voice.
Our research team has developed two solutions to this problem.
On Android, there are apps available that enable you to end a call after a set period of time. This means you won’t get stuck perpetually in a call if you're sent to voicemail.
But there is another solution that works for both iPhone and Android users: to send a message (SMS) by voice! You can send a brief message, using "OK Google" or "Hey Siri", asking someone to call you straight away. If they do, your phone can answer automatically. If not, you are free to send a message to other contacts.
Though voice control has made a difference to countless lives, there are still gaps in its functionality to be filled; making calls in an emergency has been one of them. These options allow for people with a disability to get help in an emergency situation using a smartphone using just voice control.