Coming soon to a wristwatch near you: Microsoft
Powered by Microsoft's Small Personal Objects Technology (SPOT), the watches operate by using a chip that receives Web-based FM radio transmissions. Microsoft leases an FM radio infrastructure called DirectBand to send content to SPOT devices.
Its decision to use FM radio frequencies is a wise one, giving it access to local stations throughout the country. That means SPOT watches will work nearly everywhere, since it's hard to imagine anywhere without at least one FM radio station. Wearers will be able to get local weather forecasts, stock quotes, traffic information, and sports scores, for example, all at the flick of a wrist.
Microsoft is initially partnering with Fossil
There may soon be additional SPOT opportunities, too. Microsoft doesn't want to stop with smart watches. It envisions a world of clever alarm clocks, above-average intelligence key chains, and bright refrigerator magnets. They'll all be capable of keeping you constantly informed, alert, and quite possibly neurotic from information overload.
No word yet from Microsoft on how much it hopes to eventually make off the SPOT devices. It's quite likely, though, given the company's track record for success, that this will end up being a very smart move.