Image source: Garmin

Garmin’s new safety and tracking features explained

Garmin’s Incident Detection and Assistance have made their way to a few of the company’s recent smartwatches. Here’s what they do and how to enable them.

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The first is a supplemental feature that kicks in automatically when an incident is detected. It sends an SMS and email with your name and GPS location to pre-loaded chosen contacts. The watch uses your paired compatible smartphone to do this.

Garmin’s new safety and tracking features features explained
Image source: Garmin

Of course, there’s always the danger of false emergencies. To avoid this the text appears on your device and smartphone for 30 seconds before actually going out. This gives you time to cancel it.

Incident Detection is not entirely new and has been a part of the feature-set of some of Garmin’s bike computers, and more recently the Vívoactive 3 Music seriesFenix 5 Plus Series and Forerunner 645 Music. New additions to this list are the Forerunner 45/45S, Forerunner 245/24 Music and Forerunner 945.

The Assistance option does the exact same thing, the only difference being that you need to activate it manually. Its use is therefore wider than for walking, running, hiking or cycling. Whenever you feel in danger, simply activate Assistance and a message with your location will go out.

Here’s how to set everything up.

You need to do two things – add emergency contact information in the Garmin Connect app and enable incident detection on your watch.

To set up contacts the procedure is as follows:

  • Press the More option in the Garmin Connect app
  • Press Contacts
  • Press the three dots on the top right corner and then enter the chosen contacts. When done press the back arrow in the top left corner.
  • Go to Safety and Tracking
  • Click Incident Detection and Assistance
  • Click Add Emergency Contacts
  • Your contact list should show up allowing you to select up to three emergency contacts
  • Sync your watch.

Incident detection will automatically switch on when you upload your emergency contacts and sync to your watch. If you wish to switch it on or off manually, go to Settings on your watch, choose the Safety option and press Incident Detection.

To activate Assistance hold down the top left button on your watch for 7 seconds until you feel it vibrate three times. This action will discreetly send a message to your chosen contacts. The other option is to hold the top left button for 2 seconds, scroll through all the icons and choose Assistance. This second option, however, takes longer.

Those with a Vívoactive 3 Music series need to go through a slightly different procedure. They’ll need to press and hold the device watch face, choose settings, scroll down to Safety & Tracking and press Incident Detection.

It’s worth noting there’s an added measure installed to ensure your message goes out. If your phone loses connectivity, the LiveTrack link will have your last location and will send this out when your phone re-establishes connection.

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