Verizon has announced that it plans to launch the nation's first text-to-911 service, designed to allow those who are deaf or hard of hearing to contact the emergency services via SMS.
As well as providing a huge benefit for those who are unable to hear, it's thought that the text-to-911 function will be useful in situations where people are unable to speak over the phone—for fear of further endangerment, say. Verizon aims to roll out the initiative by the end of 2013, in conjunction with the company TeleCommunication Systems.
The announcement comes nine months after the FCC tentatively announced plans to modernize the 911 service—which should, in the future, mean that people are able to send photos and video from their mobile phones to emergency call centers. Whether these new services will be used purely for good, of course, it's hard to tell. [The Hill]
Image from Dave Hosford under Creative Commons license