Q&A: Microsoft and Watch-making Partners Announce First Smart Personal Objects Technology Wristwatches
Smart wristwatches -- which display relevant, customized information broadcast across an innovative wide-area wireless network -- will be available in the fall of this year, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced yesterday at the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). These first "smart watches," to be created by international watchmakers Citizen, Fossil and Suunto, are built on Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT), a new technology platform designed to improve the functionality and usefulness of everyday objects.
PressPass asked Bill Mitchell, founder and general manager of the Microsoft Smart Personal Objects Technology group, and Roger Gulrajani, the group's director of marketing, to explain the significance of the announcement. PressPass also spoke to Donald Brewer, vice president for technology for Fossil, and Dan Colliander, president of Suunto, to learn more about their companies' commitment to developing SPOT-enhanced products.
PressPass: Yesterday, Microsoft unveiled the first products to be based on SPOT, wristwatches from watchmakers Citizen, Fossil and Suunto. Why will watches be the first SPOT products to reach the market?
Mitchell (Microsoft): The SPOT initiative is committed to improving the core function of everyday devices through the addition of software. The initial class of Smart Personal Objects comprises information-receiving devices that provide personalized information that is time, location and context relevant. People are used to looking at their wrists to see what time it is. A SPOT wristwatch simply extends the common user experience of glancing at wristwatches for time to glancing periodically for timely information.
News source: W2S