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Guru Special: Why wearables are perfect for small businesses

Drum roll please. Why? Well it’s a big day here at the O2 Business Blog. We are thrilled to introduce – for the very first time – a real-life genuine O2 Guru, who will be taking us through some of the best wearables available and why they’re so good for small business.

For those who don’t know, Gurus are O2’s tech experts. You’ll find them in your local stores, online and on the phone. They’re the helpful ones in the fetching t-shirts and they know literally everything (almost).

This week we have Daryl Baxter, the Guru for Lincoln and he has been trialing the latest wearable tech. Without further ado, we’ll hand over to Daryl:

Guru Daryl

Let’s start with a familiar scenario. You’re in a meeting and you feel your pocket buzz. You’re tempted. Could you check your phone without being noticed? Doubtful. The phone has a 5-inch screen, hardly difficult to spot. Distracted.

What about this one? You’re hurrying to get on the Northern Line. As you run past people on the escalator and squeeze on to the packed train you get that email you’ve been waiting for. You’re dying to read it but it’s just not practical to wiggle your phone out here. Frustrated.

This is where wearables come in handy. Still an alien concept for some, at O2 we’re making a big commitment to demonstrate how they work.

As the Lincoln store Guru, I make sure at least two wearables are worn by the staff per week so they can really share the benefits of having technology on your wrist and how it can fit into your lifestyle.

Why wearables are important for small business.

Many of the smartwatches and wearables use Android Wear as their operating system. It can connect to WiFi and you can quickly reply to emails and texts with Google Now, so it’s great for staying up-to-date with correspondence on the go.

Android Wear learns as you use it, which is really helpful. If you take a particular bus, it will let you know the timetable for the next hour. If you’re travelling to a particular place that’s been noted on your Calendar, Wear will give you a short view of the weather at the destination. It just makes your life easier, something any small business owner with a hectic schedule will appreciate.

A watch is a way of checking the time, but now with smart wearables, it’s a way of checking your most important notifications without being distracted from the task at hand. You may be concentrating on some important work when you receive a ping on your wrist about a cancelled meeting, simply say: “Ok Google, remind me to reschedule.” An all day reminder is set and will appear when you either switch it back on or put it back on your wrist.

You can also benefit from other people wearing smart technology. Think of your customer base. You now have direct access to their wrists. If you’re a restaurant for example, just as people in your local area are getting hungry for lunch, you could ping your specials straight to their wrist. Irresistible.

As a small business it’s all about making transactions – and therefore your customers’ lives – as quick and easy as possible. Wearables are predicted to lead the trend of taking payments on the go using NFC (Near-Field Communication). When your customers don’t have cash, they can simply swipe their watch near the reader and, hey presto, the coffee is theirs.

What are the wearable options?

So which one does what well? At the Lincoln store, we always encourage you to try the wearables on and interact with them to visualise how it will fit into your lifestyle. Below are the wearables we sell currently – I’ve picked out the best feature of each.

Pebble Steel

Mainly a notification glancer and games wearable. Best battery of the wearables – it lasted eight days before I had to charge it.

Microsoft Band

Primarily a fitness device but able to show you your email, text and phone notifications. You can use apps such as Starbucks to pay for goods from the band.

Moto 360

For the smart professional who wants a watch to look like a watch. A really elegant design and the one that looks least like a wearable.

Smartwatch 3

A Sony smartwatch aimed at fitness. Compatible with many apps, versatile look and good battery.

Samsung Gear S

A curved screen smartwatch you can use to make and receive calls and texts. The only watch to have a keyboard to type a reply to a text.

 

Thank you to Daryl. Some excellent information and applicable small business uses for some of the wearables currently available. Hopefully, if we ask nicely, he’ll be back soon with another helpful piece.

For free, impartial business tech help and advice, why not book a session with an O2 Guru? They’re available online, in store and over the phone.

Book a session now