Microsoft Readies More New SPOT Watch Services

Microsoft Readies More New SPOT Watch Services

Craig Newell

Microsoft is continuing to flesh out the services it is offering via its Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT) “smart” watches.

On Monday, Microsoft released a minor update to its MSN Direct service that delivers personalized content to watches over FM-radio frequencies. The new services add NFL and college football to the list of sports users can track in the sports channel. At the same time, Microsoft added a service allowing users to select up to two watch faces from a regularly changing library.

The Monday update also added Google to the list of stocks that can be tracked via the MSN Direct stock channel.

Next on the docket for MSN Direct and SPOT will be a movie channel designed to display movie times for theatres selected by the user, according to sources.

And after unveiling movies, Microsoft is planning to add traffic-monitoring and dining information channels some time within the next few months, sources added.

In May, Microsoft introduced several new MSN Direct services, including daily diversions, lottery, and horoscopes. Microsoft began offering sports information via MSN Direct in March.

A Microsoft spokeswoman last week denied that Microsoft’s next planned channel would be movies. On Tuesday, a SPOT spokesman declined to comment on the timetable or content for the next MSN Direct services.

Microsoft launched MSN Direct and the first SPOT smart watches during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in January. In July, Microsoft announced a new partner, Tissot, would be making SPOT-enabled watches. The original partners were Fossil and Suunto.

Since its introduction, the MSN Direct service has encountered few technical problems, aside from minor service interruptions, including a day-long outage in February.

A subscription to the MSN Direct service is priced at $59.00 a year, or $9.95 a month. Subscription charges are in addition to the cost of the watches, which range from $120 for some of the Fossil models, to $725 for the Tissot High-T, which features a touch screen.

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Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Microsoft Watch.