By now we’ve all seen the ad for the Apple Watch, where the watch calls 911 for the user after detecting a fall. Well, your iPhone is doing something similar while you’re walking.
Apple is calling it “Walking Steadiness” and it is easily accessible in the health app on an iPhone. The feature tracks the timing of the steps you take with each foot as you walk.
The more in time your steps are, the better. When Apple notices your timing start to slip — a concept they’re calling “walking asymmetry” — your phone can alert you that you may be at risk of falling.
“This is an estimate of your stability while walking,” Apple explains.”Your steadiness is also related to your fall risk. As steadiness goes down, your risk of falling goes up.”
Another metric the health app is tracking is double support time, which measures how long both feet are on the ground while you walk. According to Apple, a lower double support time can lead to better balance.
Other metrics include average walking speed, step length, and stair up-and-down speeds.
The functions work when your phone is placed in your pocket or in a holder near your waist. Users can set up notifications that alert them when their steadiness has lowered, leaving them at risk for a fall.