Fenix 5 Plus: Incident detection available now

With software version 7.10 Garmin added the incident detection to the Fenix 5 plus watches. I installed and tried it.

Incident detection is a software feature already available on some Garmin Edge devices. With that feature your devices will (or at least) try to detect when you had a crash or accident. In this case it will send a message to predefined contacts telling them that something happened to you. Your contact(s) also will get your location if available.

Please be advised: This feature has been release for the Fenix 5 plus models. The non-plus watches do not offer that feature (yet).

Installation

After you have updated your watch to the latest software version, you have to sync with Garmin connect. This will change the menu entries. The Live Track entry is moved under the “Safety & Tracking” entry.

Garmin Connect Safety & tracking

Garmin Connect Safety & tracking

This will let you setup you name, which will be displayed in the messages. So choose wisely. Plus your City and State (Here I am not sure what this field is for). The last setting are your emergency contacts. Just make sure their phone numbers and email addresses are up-to-date.

Garmin Connect Incident detection & assistance

Garmin Connect Incident detection & assistance

All your added contacts will receive a message directly afterwards informing them that they are now an emergency contact.
That is all for the installation.

Usage

Please note, that you need an active phone connection for this to work as the Fenix does not have an integrated SIM card.

To trigger an alarm, you either have to have an accident or start it manually.
Unfortunately I was not able to simulate an incident, but it shows you a message on the watch and starts a 30 second countdown before sending messages. If you start it manually, the countdown is 5 second. Pro tip: Add “assistance” to your controls. This allows you to easily and quickly access that feature in case you really need it.
Your watch then tries to determine your position for a few seconds and then sends an SMS and an email to your contacts. Please note: It sends a message to all email addresses and phone numbers of your contacts. So remove any undesired numbers if they must not be contacted. If you position cannot be found, it sends the message anyway and will send additional messages when your location is known.

Garmin Incident Detection message

Garmin Incident Detection message

Conclusion

This is a very good new feature for the Fenix and adds great benefit to the entire system. I will absolutely use this feature for longer tours, if I am alone or if it’s bad weather or light conditions.
One thing Garmin could improve is that you send the message in your selected language. Plus the translation in the watch and Garmin Connect is not 100% for german (and maybe for other languages).

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