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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 is working.

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 the time.

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.”

About the Author

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.

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