The Google Pixel Watch is getting an upgrade some users have been waiting for since the smartwatch was first announced. Starting February 28, fall detection will be available for Pixel Watch, introducing a potentially life-saving measure for when a user experiences a hard fall.
Fall detection is a staple of many of the best smartwatches, including the Apple Watch Series 9 (though Apple Watch has had the feature since 2018.) Leveraging readings from built-in motion sensors, fall detection can recognize when a user has suffered a hard fall and connect them with emergency services if needed.
According to Google, the Pixel Watch's fall detection feature will initiate when 30 seconds pass with no movement after a hard fall. After those 30 seconds, the watch will sound an alarm and vibrate, prompting you to select whether you're OK.
If you're OK, you can dismiss the alert, if not, you can request a call to emergency services. If you're unable to tap your smartwatch but need help, emergency services will be called automatically after one minute.
As for the feature's accuracy, Google said the Pixel Watch's fall detection tool has been "extensively tested" to determine the difference between intentional fall-like movement (think: burpees) and an actual fall. A small stumble shouldn't trigger the feature, either.
I frequently see headlines of Apple Watch users being saved or assisted thanks to the fall detection feature, so as someone who recommends smartwatches for a living, I'm glad Pixel Watch users can benefit from the same peace-of-mind.
Fall detection for Pixel Watch can be enabled in the Personal Safety app, though some users might see a promotional card for the new feature on the “Updates” page of the Watch Companion App.