In 2017, India wants to add a compulsory panic button to their phones

Safety is one of the major concerns of the Government of any parastatal, state or country; India being no different. This time around, they want to make their phones more useful by adding a physical panic button to their phones come 2017. Hence, killing the proverbial two birds with one stone.


This is not going to be a difficult or impossible feat considering the way tech is advancing currently. From the look of things, they have two methods to choose from:

  • Add a non intrusive extra physical button – there are already some of this in place. Sample below


  • The second option would be to make use of the basic buttons on smartphones now and add a custom action like: a double tap, a triple tap, long press etc. Some devices like the S7 series already have this feature.

The thing, India is reportedly doing this because of the women; yes, women are supposed to be protected and all that but the mere fact that they want to enforce a particular type of phone on people might point to the fact that women are really being targeted or molested. This is what Ranvi Shakar Pransad(India’s IT and communications minister)  had to say about this

I have taken a decision that from January 1, 2017, no cell phone can be sold without a provision for panic button, and from January 1, 2018, mobile sets should also have Global Positioning System inbuilt.

Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women

He did make mention of GPS; many of us have GPS but never really use it. What GPS does as it’s name implies is it gives your current location to a service that might need such data; like Google Now for up to date road traffic or Websites to display targeted ads. Using GPS with a panic button is really a smart move as you do not have to start worrying about giving your address when you are in distress (believe me, this can be a tough feat to pull off).

This kinda reminds me of those silent alarms that firms(mostly banks) have, it really saves them the trouble of calling 911 – or whatever the emergency number is in that geographical area.

You might then ask, what about feature phones(non-smatphones)? Currently, when you press and hold the numeric key 1 of any phone(at least to the best of my knowledge), it dials the default voicemail number. I’m pretty sure more functions could be added to the other keys.

This really is a smart and welcome move; I hope other countries adopt this too.

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