Emergency workers searching for next-of-kin information for an injured person now have a globally recognised way of doing so, through a new standard from the ITU. Simply prefixing 01, 02, 03 and so on to a nominated contact, such as '01father', '02wife' or '03husband' written in any script in the mobile telephone directory will enable emergency workers in any part of the world to identify contacts in order of priority and notify them
In some English-speaking countries , 'In Case of Emergency' - or ICE - has emerged, encouraging the public to list emergency contact numbers in their mobile phone in the form of 'ICE father', for example, or 'ICE doctor'. However, helpers who do not use or recognize the Roman script may not recognize the term.Now the ITU will work with the non-profit organization ICE4SAFETY to promote the new method of identifying emergency contacts.
The new standard, which is a clause to the ITU-T Recommendation E.123, internationalizes the ICE concept and recommends the use of Arabic numerals (0 to 9) to denote emergency contact numbers in a handsets directory. It exploits the fact that even though written scripts differ around the world these digits are universally recognized, making it usable by anyone, regardless of language or script.
For more information see www.ice4safety.com
Now, I have to say I was never a fan of "ICE" in the first place - I can't see your average ambulance driver bothering when they have a patient to deal with, quite apart from the fact that they might not want to be seen to be "riffling through the victims pockets".
This new system doesn't seem to improve things either.
Adding a zero-based prefix to an existing contact is fine, but you'd need to rename "Joanne Bloggs" to "01 wife" which would be counter-intuitive when you're trying to dial them, which would happen much more often than a paramedic searching (hopefully!).
So, instead you could create a new contact called "01 wife", for example, with all the same information as "Joanne Bloggs". But now, when they send you a text or call you it appears to be from "01 wife" which isn't too confusing (again, hopefully!), but it's not the behaviour I want from my phone. On top of that, I now have 2 contacts to manage whenever the missus changes her phone numbers.
If they'd chosen a prefix which would put the new contact at the END of the ponebook list, instead of at the begining, it would solve the incoming call/message issue of a duplicate contact. That still leaves us to manage the duplicate info though.
I can see a lot of people doing this, but I can also see a lot of people who are heavy mobile users NOT doing it because, lets face it, it's a bodge. I don't think it matters that some will and some won't, but if universality is not important why bother with a new standard?
I still think, if it's serious enough to involve somebody examining your mobile in search of next of kin info, there are plenty of other places they can get information from that "they" would turn to first.
Any ambulance drivers, police men, firemen (or women) care to comment? Or perhaps anyone who's needed emergency aid in a foreign country (how long did they spend playing with your mobile?)