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Smart Personal Object Technology in 2003

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, January 2, 2003

Seeing SPOTs in 2003. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Microsoft calls it SPOT... Smart Personal Object Technology. New devices that use wireless low bandwidth connections to the Internet to deliver personalized information...

"The chips are done. They've been demonstrated successfully and this is upon us, this is really."

Brian Halla, CEO of National Semiconductor which is partnering with Microsoft on the venture. So just what is SPOT?

"You can really be connected anywhere, anytime through devices in common, ordinary articles that you see around the house. That's what the name of it says, Smart Personal Object Technology. An initiative by Microsoft to put low cost radio technology into things like pens and watch fobs and alarm clocks and wrist watches such that you will always be connected and always have access to the data. And I think fundamentally, if you look at the different information access devices that Microsoft is rolling out you can kind of come to the conclusion that hey, they get it."

Imagine an alarm clock that is aware of traffic tie-ups on your usual route to work and could wake up early if need be. or a refrigerator magnet or key ring with a display that could update with sports scores of your favorite teams. The first products could be announced by Microsoft at this month's Consumer Electronics Show. Halla says there seems to be no limit to the kinds of devices that could be made using Smart Personal Object Technology. What is still up in the air is how consumers will take to seeing SPOTs. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.