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.


  • The 2021 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From Windows 10X to the next generation of Microsoft's application server products, here are the product milestones coming down the pipeline in 2021.

  • After High-Profile Attacks, Biden Calls for Better Software Security

    Recent high-profile security attacks have prompted the Biden administration to issue an executive order aiming to tighten software security practices across the board.

  • With Hybrid Networks on Rise, Microsoft Touts Zero Trust Security

    Hybrid networks, which combine use of cloud services with on-premises software, require a "zero trust" security approach, Microsoft said this week.

  • Feds Advise Orgs on How To Block Ransomware Amid Colonial Pipeline Attack

    A recent ransomware attack on a U.S. fuel pipeline company has put a spotlight on how "critical infrastructure" organizations can prevent similar attacks.