After being crushed by a pile of rubble, Woolley used his digital SLR to illuminate his surroundings and snap photos of the wreckage in search of a safe place to dwell. He took refuge in an elevator shaft, where he followed instructions from an iPhone first-aid app to fashion a bandage and tourniquet for his leg and to stop the bleeding from his head wound, according to an MSNBC story.
The app even warned Woolley not to fall asleep if he felt he was going into shock, so he set his cellphone’s alarm clock to go off every 20 minutes. Sixty-five hours later, a French rescue team saved him…
Woolley’s incident highlights a large social implication of the iPhone and other similar smartphones. A constant internet connection, coupled with a device supporting a wealth of apps, can potentially transform a person into an all-knowing, always-on being. In Woolley’s case, an iPhone app turned him into an amateur medic to help him survive natural disaster.
Say what you will about the iPhone. This story is incredible.
Indeed it is.
The app Woolley used is called Pocket First Aid & CPR. [iTunes link] I don’t know if he had it on his phone at the time or downloaded it as he needed it? If he hadn’t had his SLR flash for illumination, there are flashlight apps too. (They turn the iPhone’s screen white. Turn up the brightness and it makes a half-decent flashlight.)
This story also highlights the advantages of carrying an external battery to charge the iPhone when traveling – something Woolley did not have. I’m always running my iPhone’s battery down and got a 3GJuice 1800 mAh battery that’s always in my pocket (it directly plugs into the iPhone, so doesn’t need a separate charging cable). It works reasonably well, but sometimes seems to interfere with reception sometimes while charging the iPhone. Even so, I’d rather have it than not. Whenever I start traveling frequently again, I plan on getting a higher-capacity battery that can also be used to recharge my Kindle and other USB-powered devices.
In addition to a first-aid manual, here is a list of 33 things you don’t need if you have an iPhone. And before buying a new piece of technology, take a few minutes first and check to see if there’s an app for that. You just might save a few dollars and keep your life a little more clutter free.
It will be exciting to see what new technology Apple unveils on Wednesday. Will it be as much of a game-changer as the iPhone? One can only hope.