Now you can text 911

911, the American emergency  telephone number, has launched an innovative service that lets you text your emergency via SMS. The 4 major mobile providers Sprint, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and AT&T have voluntarily agreed to participate, although the service is only available in 16 out of 50 states at the moment.

The service is quite easy: send an SMS to 9-1-1 with your emergency and location, and your request will be handled in the order it is received. Not all counties and cities will participate, so you will receive a generated response if your request can not be fulfilled. 911 stresses that texts should be limited to emergencies in which you can not pick up the phone and speak, such as being kidnapped or deaf, and pranks will be punished. Although it’s not perfect yet, the service definitely has incredible potential.

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Eidos Tweet: 911, coming soon to a smartphone near you.