“Hey Siri! Call an ambulance!” This is what Stacey Gleeson yelled across the room to her iPhone as she started compressions on her one-year-old daughter who had stopped breathing. Stacey noticed a problem with her daughter Giana and had dropped her phone when she turned on the light to the room. “As cheesy as it sounds I wanted to say thank you,” she told the BBC. “I’ve only had the phone since the start of the year… I had played around with Siri, I thought it was a fun feature. Now I have that feature turned on all the time and it will never be turned off again.”
Once the emergency services picked up, Stacey was able to give her information through speakerphone across the room. Giana had been fighting off a chest infection and bronchiolitis at the time and was conscious again by the time the ambulance arrived but the iPhone feature was key in saving time.
The “Hey Siri” feature is available on iPhones and you can turn it on by following these steps:
- Go to Settings > General > Siri.
- Turn on Allow “Hey Siri.”
- In iOS 9 or later, follow the onscreen prompts to make your voice more recognizable for “Hey Siri.”* This lowers the chance that other people will accidentally activate Siri on your device.
Android phones have a similar feature called “OK Google” which can be accessed through these steps:
- Make sure you have the latest version of the Google app. (To get the latest version, go to the Google app page on the Play Store and touch Update).
- Open the Google app .
- In the top left corner of the page, touch the Menu icon > Settings > Voice > “Ok Google” detection.
- Check the box next to “From Google app.”
For certain devices, you can also change some settings to turn on “Ok Google” detection outside the Google app:
- Check the box next to “From any screen” or “Always on.”
- Follow the instructions to teach Google what your voice sounds like.
Note: “Always on” isn’t supported in all languages. If you’re unable to turn this feature on, your language may not be supported.