Google Pixel Watch Gets Fall Detection

The Google Pixel Watch is one step closer to matching the Apple Watch's features.

Imad Khan Senior Reporter
Imad is a senior reporter covering Google and internet culture. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN, Tom's Guide and Wired, among others.
Expertise Google, Internet Culture
Imad Khan
2 min read
Google Pixel Watch

Google Pixel Watch now has fall detection.

James Martin/CNET

The Google Pixel Watch now has fall detection, a feature that uses motion sensors and on-device machine learning to detect when a person has taken a hard fall, the company said Tuesday. Google said the feature has been tested to ensure the Pixel Watch knows the difference between a hard fall and an exercise movement like a burpee.

When a person takes a hard fall and doesn't move for 30 seconds, their Pixel Watch will vibrate, sound an alarm and give an on-screen notification asking if they need help, Google said. If a person is conscious, they can tap "I'm OK" or "I fell and need help." The latter option will contact emergency services. If a person doesn't respond after a minute, the watch will attempt to call emergency services.

Pixel Watch owners will soon see information on the "Updates" page on their Watch Companion or Personal Safety apps, where they can toggle on fall detection. 

The Pixel Watch isn't the first smartwatch to have fall detection. The Apple Watch got the feature in 2018 with the Series 4 along with fall detection for bike riding in 2021. Other smartwatches with fall or incident detection include the Garmin Forerunner, the Garmin Epix and the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5.

The Apple Watch remains the most popular smartwatch on the market, accounting for 36.1% of global shipments in Q1 of 2022, according to a report from Counterpoint Research. (The Pixel Watch entered the market last October and wasn't on sale by the time of that report.) Last year, iPhone's iOS surpassed Google's Android as the top mobile operating system in the US. The Apple Watch plays a crucial role in keeping consumers locked into the Apple ecosystem, according to Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart

As Google aims to bring stronger competition to Apple, having fully featured products will be critical.

Correction, Feb. 28: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect date for the introduction of the Apple Watch's fall detection feature. The feature was initially introduced in 2018 with the Series 4 and was later expanded to include bike fall detection in 2021. Correction, May 8: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of an analyst. It is Avi Greengart.