November 26, 2003
SPOT Wrist Devices Delayed
Microsoft last week said wrist devices based on its Smart Personal Objects Technology, which the company unveiled last year, won't be ready for delivery until next year.
Press reports indicate that Microsoft is still finalizing tests for the technology. Microsoft initially slated the launch for this fall with the SPOT technology inside devices produced by Fossil, Suunto and Citizen. Stuart Zuckerman, senior vice president of merchandising at
Citizen Watch Co. of America said his firm is partnered with Microsoft on the project but has not yet decided whether to put the watches into production. The two other brands showed prototypes last month.
With SPOT, Internet data is to be sent over a nationwide FM radio network to wrist devices resembling watches, and to personal digital assistants, refrigerator magnets and other devices.
Users would pay a $9.95 monthly fee for continued data connection from Microsoft. Microsoft continues to test the project in eight metropolitan areas in North America, but plans to have the network available in about 100 cities.
by Michael Thompson