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MICROSOFT'S LATEST: Project SPOT - Smart Personal Objects Technology
Posted by Arne Hess - on Saturday, 08.03.03 - 12:03:00 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 6855x
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When I was in Redmond for the MVP summit a few weeks ago, we also joined a session and demo of Microsoft's Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT), which will make everyday objects such as wristwatches, alarm clocks, and key chains, better at what they do. These information delivery devices will be able to provide high-value, personalized information that is time, location and context relevant. Enriching their functions in this way makes life easier for you, and with better communication.

Get what you need - when you need it. Just select the information you care about and your watch will do the rest. Let your watch intelligently filter information like sports scores, stock quotes, and weather for timely updates.

Smart enough to give you the time - and a whole lot more.
Keep accurate local time wherever you are with automatic time zone updates. Time-sensitive data like traffic reports and news are delivered when you need them.

Private and personal.
Your watch discreetly delivers instant personal messages. A subtle vibration or quick glance at the screen alerts you to a message received. Downloadable watch faces complement your personal style and mood!

Suunto

SPOT get the predefined information pushed (like SMS) from a central server. This information will be able to be changed/personalized though a web interface which lets you add topics to be watched on your SPOT smartdevice.

SPOT will become available in North America only as you need a FM-Radio signal to update your SPOT device which Microsoft already bought for USA and Canada.

About the costs no word was given so far but personally I expect that SPOT might become a part of MSN and that it costs either a one time fee per SPOT device or an additional subscription fee.

Smart wristwatches, the first SPOT devices, are scheduled to be available in fall of 2003.

I wonder if there is really a market for SPOT devices and the whole service or maybe this is a cultural and technological difference between North America and Europe. While the services looks pretty interesting (but are the typical services), it's nothing my GSM handset can't do better with SMS and WAP Push.
While it might be nice to have an intelligent key ring or other small devices, I prefer to use my GSM phone to be my central information source/unit and feature it up with my Pocket PCs, whenever I need more input - even my GSM handset isn't able to deliver.

Cheers ~ Arne

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Comments
Posted by Paul on 11.03.03 - 00:00:00

Keep an eye on Microsoft SPOT partner National Semiconductor.  They've been right alongside Microsoft from the get-go on this.  My understanding is that National has been working on a ultrawideband @ .13 microns.  It doesn't use radio frequencies, and operated at 10ghz.  If this works as they hope, SPOT may just make it out of the U.S. in a couple of years.

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