Why Moms Should Consider a Wearable Device in 2015

by Blagica Bottigliero


This post is a more detailed overview of how I use my Moto 360 watch.  Yes, I did work at Motorola, but I purchased the Moto 360 watch on my own, use it everyday and it isn’t a review unit. I also own the 2nd generation MotoX.  

I am writing this update with a strong belief that moms/parents need to consider a wearable device for their future purchase.  For me, being hands free to do a slew of things has been liberating. I’m going to break down the ways I use the Moto 360. Apple funs, the iWatch comes out in 2015 as well.

Communication

I set up my Moto360 with Google Hangouts and Gmail notifications. I can send messages and respond to them with the simple flick of a wrist. I am the Queen of breaking my phone because I’m doing too many things at once – I am also an avid walker.  During these cold Minnesota days, I can walk to and from work and retrieve important messages from my husband while looking down at my watch.  With winter gloves that enable screen touches, bam, done. No need to pull out my device, finagle around and accidentally drop it when trying to read a message. I feel like James Bond or Inspector Gadget talking into my watch via headset or straight up into the face. Double bonus. And yes, I angle my wrist and talk into my phone like I’m on a secret mission, ‘Remind me to buy milk tomorrow’. For extra kicks, I tap my right ear like a Secret Service agent guarding the President.

How many times are you digging into your purse or bag to find that phone to text someone?  First you think you put the phone in one compartment but then realized you changed bags and it’s in another compartment. I also hated the way I presented myself in public. Checking the phone again and again. On one hand, I love being able to connect to my husband and friends in an instant. On the other hand, I disliked taking my phone from it’s safe place. Before you say to yourself, ‘Well don’t text so much’.  No dice. I have two little kids and if my husband asks me about any random thing about the kids or the house, I like to be available.

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 8.54.15 PM.png

One more note, I can respond to Facebook messages from my Moto 360.

Entertainment

Let’s go back to how much of a fan I am of walking.  I also love pockets. My Lands’ End winter coat is my new best friend. Seriously, I love her. Yes, her name is Merlot. I stuff my keys, bus pass, etc in my pockets. From there, my gloved hands go in my side pockets and I am ready to roll. My coat has this nifty chest pocket for my phone. It’s lovely. But it’s also inconvenient for me to whip out the phone to change songs now and then. No more with the Moto 360. I can go from Google Music song to song with my watch with a simple tap of the forward arrow.

Organization

I was shopping at Whole Foods today.  Before I left the house, I put my grocery list together via Google Keep.  Google Keep is also available via Android Wear. There I was, pushing my almost 2-year old and going between filling the cart with bananas and the like, checking my wrist for the next item and having two hands free to control the potential display disaster or random pear that gets flung to the next fruit box (you know this happens to you). On the way TO Whole Foods, I was at a red light and forgot to add croissants to my list. No problem. I used the voice action, ‘Open Google Keep’, my most recent list was there and I added ‘croissants’ with the combo of pressing the ‘+’ button, then saying ‘croissants’. Done.

Reminders

Women are known to be natural multi-taskers. It’s at those odd times that I remember to do random things. I’ll be making the bed, think about my day and remember that I need to send my mom freshly printed pictures of the kids. Or I’ll be at the park and remember that I wanted to buy new sandals because the ones I was wearing were ripped. With a wearable like the Moto 360, it’s easy. I talk to my phone and say, ‘Remind me to X tomorrow’. Done. I don’t need to leave my kids or the bed, find my phone, activate the reminder feature and type things in. I simply speak and it’s set. Yes, I tell myself to take care of my skin.

The reminder feature came in handy during the holidays but is coming in even more handy with our upcoming move back to IL.  From calling the movers to setting up utilities, I remind myself to do things during off hours, all while staying efficient and up to date with my work.

Are you a writer? Even better. How many times are you strolling to the store and you come up with a brilliant topic? Talk into your wearable and sync up to your other lists.

Fitness

I own a Fitbit. Loved it. Still love it, however, my Moto 360 has the steps feature built in. With Google Fit, I can also track various fitness activities.  If I want to check in on how my step intake is at the moment, I tell my phone, ‘Show me my steps’. I just downloaded Google Fit and am getting used to all of its activity features. I may do a follow up post about this as as well.

eCommerce

This one can be dangerous to my wallet. Amazon integration to my Moto 360 is wild. I can shop from my watch. Literally. With 1-click settings turned on, I can search for exactly what I need and bam, ordered.

Overall, I am spending less time pulling out my phone and more time doing quick glances to my phone.  When I’m with the kids at a park or even a birthday party, I’m not doing the constant phone check-in.  My Moto 360 tells me what I need to know when and through a simple wrist flick, I’m informed. It’s liberating. I can also change the face of my Moto 360. I’m currently using a gorgeous gold/holiday themed look.

Other utility I recently discovered and adding to my experiments:

·      Jillian Michaels workouts

·      Feedly integration

·      Duolingo French lessons

·      Allthecooks recipes. Step by step to my watch means less splashing

2015 looks to be another banner year for wearables. Once more parents, especially multi-tasking moms, realize how efficient their watch can make their days, the game will change.  In my opinion moms are THE perfect segment for wearables. 


The Moto 360 and Moto X Reviews That Journalists Missed

by Blagica Bottigliero


I’ve been using my Moto 360 watch and second generation MotoX for about two weeks. Yes, I paid for these devices outright.  A few of you asked if my old Motorola connections ‘hooked me up’. That would be a ‘no’. I also bought the phone outright,  no contract.

I needed each device for various reasons 1.) My 1st generation MotoX smashed after my foolish attempt at getting a bad photo and 2) I needed a regular, everyday watch.  Before each device came out, I read almost every review, blog post and video about what the top tech folks thought of the design, battery life, usability, etc.  The texting and email features were mentioned, along with the directions.

But how could a regular person use this in everyday life?   Read on.

In addition to being a tech lover, I’m a mom and a wife. I also have a great job that enables me to work remote from wherever I want. Yes, it’s pretty fabulous. My life is also busy, full of notifications, schedules and to-do lists. Here are some use cases that my Pitcher/Batter combination of the MotoX + Moto 360 have made my life even more efficient.

Less typing

When I’m in the kitchen prepping dinner or don’t have time to fiddle with typing, I can speak into my watch and the action that I need is brought up on my phone. The other day, I was in the middle of a massive kitchen clean up. I needed some energy, turned to my watch and said, ‘Play Janet Jackson on YouTube’. The watch brought up a search result, which then gave me the option to open on my phone. I DID need to click the ‘open on phone’ prompt. After that, the MotoX found a random Janet song and began to play.

Yes, this can be done with asking ‘Ok, Google’ in the MotoX or Motorola command, but being at the sink and talking down to my watch was more effective.

Less time glancing at my phone

Supposedly, the Bluetooth distance is 150 ft. I don’t know if this is completely accurate, BUT, the Moto 360 gives me the ability to be out with the kids at a park or grocery store and not have the need to look down at my phone every five seconds. If an email or text notification hits, I can glance at my watch to see if there is something important I need to address. If it’s code red, I can reach for my phone and take care of business. If not, I go on with my business without needing to take out a larger phone that my accident prone self is bound to drop (I know, I know, get a cover. I don’t like covers).

Moto Actions

Motorola continues to make this better. I can talk to my Moto X in the morning to get my schedule and program it to know when I’m home or in a meeting. The device knows when to be quiet on demand. The exterior sensors of the X are also built in such a way where my mere presence walking UP to the device tells me if I have an email or Facebook message – without needing to push a button.

Phone rings when I’m in the middle of something and I don’t want to answer it? I simply move my hand over the whole phone and it stops the action.

Quick pics

The 2nd generation X has the same feature of activating the camera with two shakes of the wrist. I have two kids under five and they are hysterical. At any second, I can put my hand on the phone, do two, quick Bruce Lee wrist twists and bam, picture mode.

Motorola even designed the phone in such a way where I can hold my kid, say ‘take a selfie’, and the front camera activates, snapping a picture. No clicking needed. Done.

 Less of a need to carry the phone around the house

I know plenty of women/moms who stuff their phone in their bra, pants pocket or my latest obsession, ScotteVest cardigans.  But again, I need my hands. I also have a tendency to see my phone about to fall in the toilet or slip from my shallow pants pockets.  These days, I can leave my phone in one part of the house and get my notifications via watch. Michael and I communicate ALL day with texts. Grocery lists, kid needs, dinner ideas, date night polls, etc. I simply reply quickly into my watch done.

Which reminds me, Motorola, you need to work on that text reply timing. Maybe this is Android Watch thing, but I find myself talking faster than Speedy Gonzales to get my messages across.

Cooking

Remember, we are in early generation mode here. Apps for Android Wear are nowhere NEAR where they should be, but I’ll take what I can get. My recent obsession is Allthecooks. I can bring up a recipe on my phone and then toggle it to my watch. Gone are oil splashes on the tablet. I can look at the steps on my watch and swipe from step to step.

Speaking of swiping, imagine Tindr on your watch, nifty eh?

Reminders

Journalists DID highlight this feature and I can't speak enough about it. From calling a client to writing a report to exfoliating my face. I use the reminder features all day long. Bonus? Walking around town like Inspector Gadget is pretty rad.

Replacement for Fitbit

No, the Moto 360 is NOT a replacement for the Fitbit, but I get my steps AND I get my heart rate. Good enough for me. I was never into the whole physical-activity-competition with-my-friends thing.

Other notes

  • don't get notifications for every app because this WILL decrease your battery
  • have fun with the various Moto 360 watch faces
  • cupping your palm over the watch face will the light go away
  • the design is gorgeous and the face is flush against my wrist, a nice touch

We are in the early stages of wearables, but we aren’t in the early stages of women who happen to be quite tech-oriented. We are the same women who are mothers and use gadgets for the sake of geekdom+multi taking efficiency. You can catch more tech chat via Ladies Talk Tech, Sundays at 8 pm CST.