Microsoft showed its Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) during the COMDEX Las Vegas 2003, site of a Ready-to-Wear Wireless fashion show showcasing the latest in wearable technology.
The sold-out show was among the first public previews of Smart Watches with MSN Direct. And it was clear early on that these watches were more than just a fashion statement. With an easy-to-read watch face and the MSN Direct service, people can customize the information that is delivered to their watch. They can get the latest news, weather, event listings, appointment reminders, personal messages and more -- all accessible with just a flick of the wrist.
Microsoft worked with Fossil and Suunto to ensure Smart Watches could be dressed up or dressed down, depending on the time of day or needs of the wearer. One of Fossilís Abacus brand Smart Watches featured in the fashion show offers an oval face and black and chrome body. Another model of watch on display, the rugged Suunto n3, works with an athletic lifestyle, providing relevant information while the wearer jogs or works out at the gym. Up-to-date local weather updates can help joggers or bikers determine the best outfit to wear before hitting the road, while training regimens can be integrated into calendar functions.
"Smart Watches with MSN Direct are a fun new way for people to get the information they care about delivered to an accessory they wear everyday," says Cindy Spodek Dickey, Microsoft's group marketing manager for SPOT. "Being part of this high-energy fashion show is a great venue to illustrate how technology and lifestyle products can merge in exciting and innovative ways."
The watches on display Tuesday night will hit stores across the United States and Canada in early 2004, the same time Microsoft launches the MSN Direct service. People can choose from two subscription plans; US$9.95 a month with the first month at no charge, or US$59 for a full year.