Watch It: Microsoft Touts New SPOT Products
Microsoft showed off the newest additions to its growing Smart Personal Objects
Technology (SPOT) initiative at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas
this week, including an updated line of SPOT-enabled watches and a wireless
weather forecasting center with an information link through MSN Direct.
Watchmaker Fossil said it will ship this spring the latest version of its Abacus-brand
smart watches. The new watches will feature twice as much storage as before,
improved battery life, and faster performance.
Although they were already on the market for the 2005 holiday gift buying season,
Microsoft pointed to Oregon Scientific’s Complete Regional Weather Station
with MSN Direct as an example of how the company’s 2-year-old SPOT initiative
The company introduced SPOT in late 2002 but really debuted the concept at
CES in 2003. “Smart Personal Objects are everyday objects, such as clocks,
pens, key chains and billfolds, that are made smarter, more personalized and
more useful through the use of special software,” the company said at
Oregon Scientific says its SPOT-enabled weather stations feature information
automatically delivered via the MSN Direct wireless information service to provide
“professional-level weather station information, including a three-day
weather forecast, National Weather Service warning information, current indoor
and outdoor temperatures, humidity levels, sunrise and sunset times, wind direction
and speed, heat index, barometric pressure and UV levels.”
Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.