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Permobil Blog / January 23, 2020

Exploring The PushTracker E2 with Aaron Baker

pushtracker-e2-settup

Four years ago my friend let me demo her SmartDrive & PushTracker, and within 10 minutes of using it, I knew it would change my life. Fast forward to today, and I have explored over 40 cities in the United States, discovered 3 countries, and traveled independently for business all because of the original Smart Drive and Pushtracker.

That is why when I discovered the new Pushtracker E2 I was a bit skeptical of changing a good thing. To be honest I am partial to the original MX2+ Pushtracker because it has literally changed my life. My thought was, if it’s not broken, why fix it?

Well, my concerns were quickly laid to rest the moment I strapped the stylish, matte black Mobvoi TicWatch E2 onto my wrist. The “wearable” struck me as something I am proud to wear as a style accessory, and the large touch screen is much easier to see and use.

Since I am a recovering quadriplegic, my hands are slightly impaired which makes holding and using my phone while on the go out of the question. I have to keep my phone in a holster on the side of my wheelchair, and can only use it when I am at a secure stop. However, now having the ability to access my phone messages, social media notifications, weather forecast and apps from the Google Play Store right on my wrist is a mind expanding, life enhancing upgrade. But, be careful – no rolling & talking! If you receive a phone call while the motor is in use, it will stop.

When I received my new E2 in the mail a couple weeks ago, I unboxed it and followed these steps to get going… Be sure to give yourself 20-30 minutes and access to Wi-Fi for the set-up process.

 


 

I followed these steps when setting up my PushTracker E2 for SmartDrive:

Note: These instructions can be found on the Permobil website

  1. Pushtracker E2 & Wear OS
    • Place the E2 watch on a charge as soon as you take it out of the box
    • Make sure to have a Wi-Fi connection
    • Download Wear OS on your Android or Apple phone
    • Read and accept the Google terms of service & enable Bluetooth® sharing on your phone
    • Turn on the watch and select your language
    • Read and accept the Mobvoi policy
    • Pair/connect PushTracker E2 to your phone
    • Connect your watch to WiFi
    • Choose/sign in/create Google account
    • Follow the Wear OS tutorial
  2. Download SmartDrive MX2+ App
    • Go to the Google Play Store on your PushTracker E2
    • Search "SmartDrive MX2+"
    • Install & launch the SmartDrive MX2+ App
  3. Pair & Go
    • With your SmartDrive MX2+ unit turned on, launch the SmartDrive MX2+ app and touch “TURN POWER ASSIST ON”
    • Pair with SmartDrive MX2+ by selecting the number listed on the screen. You can only pair when one SmartDrive MX2+ is present

Now that I am all connected, the tapping gesture was familiar, yet felt slightly different. That is because the internal gyro sensor in the Mobvoi TicWatch is different from the original Pushtracker. All I had to do was go into my SmartDrive app settings and adjust the Tap Sensitivity percentage to find my sweet spot… 80% works well for me. Then adjust the Max Speed, Acceleration and the other personal preferences

If you are a new user, or a seasoned vet, I suggest revisiting the Tap Training to get the hang of it before entering tight places. Like learning to drive a car, I went out to an open parking lot to hone my skills.

My biggest concern with the new E2 was battery life and how long it would last during a full day of use. The E2 has the potential to withstand the duration of the entire battery life of the SmartDrive itself, and has a variety of ways to save the juice. The easiest option is turning off the Power Assist (red button) when you are not using the SmartDrive. This will maximize the battery life!

Just like a smart phone, the battery life can be affected by the other functions it is performing such as - unclosed apps with sensors, updates being performed in the background and GPS tracking.


 

Tips & Tricks For PushTracker E2 battery Life:

  1. During initial setup
    • Fully Charge the battery the first time
    • Check to make sure the PushTracker E2 has the most up to date operating system Perform all updates on the charger before use: Settings App > System > About > System Updates
    • Turn off “location” setting: Settings App > Location
    • Consider choosing a Mobvoi watch face with static items (e.g. no second hand)
  2. Other battery performance tips
    • Turn off the “always-on” display: Settings App > Display > Always-on Screen
    • Turn off “tilt-to-wake” & “wrist gestures”: Settings App > Gestures
    • Turn off Wi-Fi when not performing updates (otherwise it will continually search for networks): Settings App > Connectivity > WiFi
    • Maintain a screen brightness of level 3 or less when possible: Settings App > Display > Adjust Brightness
    • Turn “OK Google” off: Personalization > OK Google Detection
    • Turn on “airplane mode”. The PushTracker E2 will prompt you to reconnect Bluetooth when going to use your SmartDrive

Monitor battery activity through the Wear OS mobile app on your phone: Open Wear OS app, scroll down to select “Advanced Settings”, then select “Watch Battery”

*Disclaimer – I know it sounds like a lot, but I am explaining it step by step. It only took me about 5 minutes to go through these battery saving tips!

I do recommend carrying an external power source for peace of mind.

Since I’ve been using my new PushTracker E2, I have not experienced any “blackouts” or “dead zones” where I would. Also, using the large touchscreen with clear words and instructions is far easier than the older model which had analog buttons, a small screen, coded words and symbols that you have to decipher or learn over time.

In all, I am pleasantly surprised that the device that had already improved the quality of my life, took another giant leap forward and elevated my abilities. I can proudly say that I am a twenty first century digital boy! Enjoy the ride.


Learn more about choosing a power assist


 

Aaron-3Aaron Baker

Aaron Baker is a recovering quadriplegic athlete, author, ambassador and friend. Prior to his career-ending spinal cord injury, Aaron was a professional motocross racer.

 

 

 

Categories: wheelchair seating, Complex Rehab, wheelchair positioning, seating & positioning, wheelchair accessories, SmartDrive, Power Assist, manual wheelchair

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