MARCo + Text Messages

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Note: 6/20/22 This feature is currently under public preview for MARCo Robot users only. This article will be updated as the feature is rolled out to all users.

Have you ever wished MARCo would check in on you outside of sessions, like a friend just saying “Hey, how you doing today, bud?” Or have you found that it’s been difficult to keep up with a consistent MARCo schedule because it’s easy to forget about the robot when you have so much going on! (No hard feelings, we do it all the time!)

Wish no longer, because MARCo’s text message check-ins are here!

With MARCo’s check-in messages, you can get text messages from MARCo just to see how things are going outside of sessions, so you always have someone who’s got your back. It’s easy to get set up, too!

First, set up your phone number

If you’ve already set up your number with MARCo, there is one new additional step you will need to take in order to get regular check-in messages working. To start, find the new home for your phone number information.

Open the MARCo Online app and go to the “Settings” page by opening the blue hamburger menu, followed by the purple “Settings” icon:

Next, tap the “Preferences” tab at the top OR swipe to the left to find the “Preferences” page:

The phone number field is now under “Notification Preferences”, instead of on the “Basic Settings” tab. Additionally, as we have started to expand MARCo into countries beyond the United States, we now require a Country Code at the start of your phone number. To set your country code, press the “+?” icon next to the Phone Number field to reveal a Country Code dialog (please allow a few seconds for the list to load)

Type the name of your country in the Filter field to find your country and tap the associated number, then tap “SET”:

Then, you can type in the rest of your phone number and tap the “SAVE” icon on the right to save your phone number. To make sure everything works, after saving your phone number, you can tap the “SEND SAMPLE MESSAGE” button below to send a test message to your phone:

Next, set your text check-in preferences!

At this time, MARCo’s check-in text messages are only available for robot users, so you can still set your preferences through the app, but you need to be connected to your MARCo first.

Start up your MARCo and sync your phone to your MARCo, or if you are a default user, go under “Settings”, then “Basic Settings”, and then tap the “Control MARCo from this device” switch:

Once you are syncing to MARCo, you should see a message similar to this pop up:

You can then swipe left or tap the “Preferences” tab at the top of the settings screen (you may need to scroll) and find “Notification Preferences” again. Tap on your preference of how frequently MARCo is allowed to check in on you:

But of course, you wouldn’t want MARCo texting you when you’re sleeping or binge watching the latest season of Grey’s Anatomy, so you can also set Quiet Hours where MARCo is NOT allowed to text you! Tap the button that says “+ Add quiet hours” to add a new quiet hour rule.

Tap on the “Start Time” line and the “End Time” line to tell MARCo when the quiet hours start and when they end.

Make sure you tap AM or PM or else MARCo may text you at a very wrong time!!!

Once you hit OK for each quiet hour start and end time, everything is already updated so you won’t have to save anything.

Then all you have to do is wait for MARCo to text you to check in!

Have any issues with the messages you’re getting? Wish MARCo had more options for conversation starters when texting you – or wish the robot could follow up with you about specific sessions you had together, ideas for things to work on together, or anything else?

Be sure to add it to the MARCo wishlist!

Jacob Boyle serves as CEO and CTO of MARCo Technologies. As CEO, his primary functions include defining the company direction, managing contractors and employees, and spearheading outreach and customer discovery. As CTO, he has handled the development of MARCo, having designed and produced the existing MARCo units; coordinate with manufacturers; develop software for the online edition; and oversee continued R&D. He also served as the Technical Lead in the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps accelerator program on behalf of the company.

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