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Selling a Smart Watch

Techstination feature for Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Selling a smart watch. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. They're due to arrive this fall. Watches that will use Smart Personal Object, or SPOT technology from Microsoft. Citizen and Fossil are among the companies that will make the watches that will receive data through FM radio signals. It's the same kind of information that can already be retrieved on many cell phones... which typically have larger screens than a watch. But Fossil's technology VP Donald Brewer says the watches should be more consumer friendly...

"In this case the users customize the data, the services that they really want, not just the business or national news, but maybe their local or state news, weather, traffic, sports scores for the teams that they're interested in. The user customizes all of these on the Web site and receive it wirelessly on the watch wherever their at."

Still, there's the issue of reading data on a watch sized screen. And while Microsoft and National Semiconductor, which makes the Smart Personal Object Technology chips believe the devices will eventually be cheap enough to be sold at your local convenience store Fossil expects initial pricing to be between 100 to 250 dollars. Brewer believes watches that do more than tell you the time and date will be the norm in the not too distant future...

"I think what we're seeing here is the ushering of an entire new age in watch technology. Probably as significant as the development of the quartz movement some 30 years ago."

As the saying goes... time will tell. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.