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Goodbye To the SPOT Watch

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the hardly-knew-ye dept.

Microsoft 87

Starturtle sends along an Engadget article on the demise of the Microsoft SPOT Watch. We've discussed related devices a few times in the past; here's a picture of one. "After a long, painful, nearly anonymous ride on the wrists of a select few uber-geeks, Microsoft's finally throwing in the towel on one of its longstanding pet projects: the SPOT watch. The writing's been on the wall for some time; the applications and content available to the watches haven't been updated in ages, and indeed, the entire line of Abacus Smart Watch 2006 models — the only type being recently offered — has been discontinued and out of stock for a few months. For what it's worth, MSN Direct's program manager is quick to note that the underlying technology most certainly isn't going away."

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Pocket version is better. (2, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23196674)

The pocket version of this watch made by Handspring ten years ago still works and I like it. I alwasy wanted the screen and battery to be bigger not smaller. Changing my watch battery every few years is painful enough that I'd never do it every few months. Getting M$ involved would probably rob the thing of my favorite features like datebook+. Good riddance to a bad idea.

Re:Pocket version is better. (-1, Troll)

inTheLoo (1255256) | more than 6 years ago | (#23196702)

That seems obvious, how much money did the Soft lose on this one?

Re:Pocket version is better. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197734)

Now that you've freely admitted [slashdot.org] that you're using multiple accounts to control conversation on Slashdot, where are you going to go from here?

Let's take a look at the progression of the perception of you as a community member, shall we?

- a respected remember of the community, to
- a Linux zealot but still a respected one, to
- an irrational Linux zealot that everyone sort of sidles away from like a bad smell, to
- a lying, irrational zealot that everybody tried to ignore, to
- a nutjob who has conversations with himself and is the laughing stock of Slashdot, to
- self-confessed manipulator of people who he pretends to respect but clearly considers pawns and one-night stands to get his obsessive message to the masses.

Is there any down from there? I'm beginning to wonder.

Also, you might want to check your posting history - when you went back to just your Twitter account for a while, you started getting modded up again to 3 or 4 despite starting at -1... but now you've gone back to shilling yourself with even more sockpuppets, you've started getting modded down again. Can you not make the obvious connection here?

Re:Pocket version is better. (-1, Troll)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199058)

Anyone thinking of posting in this thread should be aware that twitter and "inTheLoo" are the same person.

It was a dumb concept (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23196706)

It was a pay service for your watch when one's cell phone does most those features and more.

Re:It was a dumb concept (2, Insightful)

archkittens (1272770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23196844)

i dont know, i think it'd be convenient to have some features on a watch. the only thing i'd have to have, really, was the watch and the phone to talk to each other and keep in sync.

you can look at your watch any time, but pulling out a cellphone willy nilly is rude.

Re:It was a dumb concept (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197386)

Dude ... you'd better patent that or at least keep this post for prior art posterity. I can see an iWatch that bluetooth "syncs" with an iPhone to show you who's calling, what the next calendar event is, SMS text, etc. Hell, you could even make an Inspector Gadget watch headset out of it or even an iPod remote. The only downside I can think of is that BT would drain a watch battery in days compared to the year most people expect from a watch battery.

Re:It was a dumb concept (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197432)

iWatch
Apple would probably decide that didn't sound cool enough. I think they would go with iTime.

Re:It was a dumb concept (2, Funny)

MikTheUser (761482) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197890)

iWatch
Apple would probably decide that didn't sound cool enough. I think they would go with iTime.
iAgree

Re:It was a dumb concept (2, Funny)

FrozenFOXX (1048276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23201858)

I'd still have to call it the iProduct [gizmodo.com] .

Already been done, and a note on the SPOT watches (1)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198180)

Already exists in a few forms. Bluetooth pairs between watch and phone to ring and/or show you caller ID. Slick, if you keep your phone someplace inconvenient (backpack, briefcase, etc.) or pulling your phone out would be rude. The one I saw (google://abacus mobilewear) only paired with a few phones, but the idea's the thing.

I own an Abacus 2006. I like it a lot. The customizable faces were neat, and the sports/weather/traffic/movie stuff came in handy more often than you'd think. Headlines pushed to your wrist were good if you're that guy who has to be the first to know when the pope dies or something. I was -just- looking for a replacement for it (I'd developed an allergy to the FM antenna it receives data on) when I saw this story.

Anybody got a recommendation for something nerdy that I haven't already seen on ThinkGeek?

Re:Already been done, and a note on the SPOT watch (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198204)

I'd developed an allergy to the FM antenna it receives data on) when I saw this story
Any further info on that? Just curious.

Re:Already been done, and a note on the SPOT watch (1)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199470)

The allergy or the antenna? :)

Allergy: Don't know - haven't seen a doc about it yet. Just happened one day, after I'd worn the watch for more than a year. Now I get a red itchy rash from it if I wear it overnight. It only happens on the part of me that touches the wristband (the antenna) and not on the part that touches the watch itself. Maybe it's an RF burn? Seems unlikely, given that I wore it for a long time before it happened... but that's why I'm a BSE and not an MD.

Antenna: It's coated in rubber, sits underneath the metal band (photos at spotstop.com in the review of the SW2006) and receives data like the new GM car radios do - encoded inaudibly in the transmission. MS contracts (contracted?) with major-market stations to put this signal on their airwaves. If you dig into the watch status screen, it'll tell you which station is sending it out. Don't have it on me (figuratively or literally) or I could give you the Detroit carrier.

Hope I satisfied your curiosity. Let me know if you need more.

Re:Already been done, and a note on the SPOT watch (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23200318)

That's pretty slick! All they need is to make an iPhone compatible version and then I'll know what I want for Christmas this year!

Re:Already been done, and a note on the SPOT watch (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#23201006)

Headlines pushed to your wrist were good if you're that guy who has to be the first to know when the pope dies or something.
That would be quite useful if you were considering running for Pope.

Many of my friends have urged me to run and some independent citizens have started Draft_Hal_For_Pontif.com, but I haven't decided at this point.

Re:Already been done, and a note on the SPOT watch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23201076)

Please run for Pope Hal!

PS I'm not a sockpuppet or anything.

--
X5O!P%@AP[4\PZX54(P^)7CC)7}$EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!$H+H*

Re:It was a dumb concept (2, Interesting)

iamsamed (1276082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23196846)

It was a pay service for your watch when one's cell phone does most those features and more.

Which touches on another thing: watches as a time keeping device are in decline. People are using other devices for time. And considering that just about everything these days has a clock on it, what's the point of a watch other than as jewelry.

Re:It was a dumb concept (2, Interesting)

BenBenBen (249969) | more than 6 years ago | (#23196934)

I have a SonyEricsson Bluetooth watch (MBW-100) that does CallerID, silences then rejects incoming calls, lets me know when SMS or email arrives and plays/pauses/track advances music. Oh, and does time and date too :)

Never used to wear a watch, wouldn't be without one now.

PAN for the win :)

Re:It was a dumb concept (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197482)

I would buy one of these if they worked with non-Symbian, non-Ericsson phones. They're really neat looking devices.

Re:It was a dumb concept (1)

BenBenBen (249969) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197660)

Tell me about it, it's a brilliant lock-in and will certainly take some of the shine off my 3G iPhone come June.

That's funny. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198596)

I think it's quite funny that you complain about the lock-in on the Sony-Ericsson and then state that you plan to buy an iPhone.

- Treo user

Very interesting. (1)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199786)

Not bad, but a little expensive [engadget.com] . According to this, the battery lasts a week and has it's own wall wart [pcmag.com] . I suppose you could charge it up at night, like you do your cell phone and the limited display area is responsible for that good battery life.

Do you get a lot of use out of it without a matching earbud? My first thought was, "If I get a call I actually want to deal with, I'm going to have to pull the phone out anyway." An earbud would take care of that problem but that adds even more to the $400 cost of the watch. Was the $400 worth it to begin with?

Can you make it work with a Neo1973? The device is capable of much more than Sony gave it. It could do everything the Spot does and more if it would really talk to a smart phone. The Neo1973 also takes care of privacy issues - I'd never put my contact information into a non free phone hooked up to companies that are asking for immunity to wiretapping crimes.

Re:It was a dumb concept (4, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197478)

People are using other devices for time.
I use a watch. And because of that, I am the "other device" people refer to.

Re:It was a dumb concept (1)

greenguy (162630) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199642)

Don't keep us in suspense! What time is it?

Re:It was a dumb concept (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23200012)

Fri Apr 25 10:32:58 PDT 2008

Re:It was a dumb concept (1)

mrbooze (49713) | more than 6 years ago | (#23200118)

I have my watch on virtually all the time I am awake. I don't have my cell phone with me remotely as often, especially if I'm at home where my cell phone is likely just sitting on my desk.

With my watch I can check the time: When my hands are full, when I'm swimming or at the beach, when I'm sitting in the movie theater/concert, when I'm on a plane, and when I otherwise don't want to or can't dig my cell phone out of my pocket, then unlock it, then view the time, then relock it, then shove it back in my pocket.

But then I am admittedly very OCD about needing to know what time it is all the time, a psychosis I have had since childhood. Even wearing my watch right now, I can see the clock on my computer desktop (synced with NTP), the Wall clock (synced with the atomic clock radio signal), and even the time display on my desk phone (not synced with anything, which sticks in my craw). And I actually often look at them to see if they are still in agreement. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I'm also often the only person to bother to invest the time and energy in setting up and tuning the time servers at work.

But hell, I don't just need a watch to know what *time* it is, I have to routinely check my watch to know what *day* it is. It's good I never have to write checks at the grocery store any more, because grocery clerks always gave me weird looks when I checked my watch before I wrote the check every time.

Re:It was a dumb concept (1)

Selivanow (82869) | more than 6 years ago | (#23207704)

I find it so much easier to just look at my wrist than to have to pull out my phone and take a look.
Of course, I have a HP Pocket PC phone and it can;t even manage to get DST correct, even with the update from M$.

Re:It was a dumb concept (2, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197316)

What exactly is it? it seams to me it never got anywhere, i didnt even know what they were and after wikipedia and RTFA, when i have to goggle a product line to even get a clue what it is, youve failed!
It seams to me the only feature it offered over my a satellite based weather watch was, instant messaging, but as i have a phone that's not really that useful.
Unless people REALLY care about stock prices in the US ?

Re:It was a dumb concept I disagree ... (1)

Herschel Cohen (568) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198582)

not if you can make them pay a second (or third or ...) time.

That could be a Cash Cow, for the indigent parts of a struggling company.

That's not a SPOT watch. (4, Informative)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 6 years ago | (#23196728)

Sorry, but that isn't a SPOT watch in the link, but a Fossil watch running PalmOS. Similar idea, but most certainly not from Microsoft.

Yaz.

Re:That's not a SPOT watch. (1)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23196862)

Full sentence: "We've discussed related devices a few times in the past; here's a picture of one." It could have been worded better, but it says that watch is a related device, not an actual SPOT watch.

Re:That's not a SPOT watch. (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23201298)

I read that as "I found this picture of something similar (but totally fucking different), and need to concoct a difficult-to-grok sentence in order to get it past the Firehose."

Twofo Goatse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23196736)

Eat my goatse'd penis! [twofo.co.uk]

That's right, you cock-smoking tea-baggers!

The (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23196772)

What now?

Pulp Fiction (5, Funny)

Ilan Volow (539597) | more than 6 years ago | (#23196808)

If they had billed it as "a watch so awesome you'll want to hide it up your ass for your descendants" they might have gotten better sales.

Re:Pulp Fiction (5, Funny)

BenBenBen (249969) | more than 6 years ago | (#23196952)

I think you've tapped into an under-used metric for reviews - would certainly put the iPod Shuffle ahead of the Zune, at any rate.

Re:Pulp Fiction (1)

ZipOtter (1272760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197620)

But is the iPod Shuffle available in a color that matches the interior decoration of my colon?

Re:Pulp Fiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197626)

So THAT'S why the brown Zune is so popular..

Good for Microsoft (3, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23196820)

They must have found a really good exfoliant or concealer.

Idea = Good... implementation = bad (3, Insightful)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#23196910)

I'd always thought that this was sort of a fun idea, but it always seemed like it cost a lot, the watches were huge, and the feature set was never that amazing. Ultimately... if you have a cell phone on you 24/7 that's capable of doing everything the watch can - why buy the watch? I've stopped wearing a watch for this very reason.

Re:Idea = Good... implementation = bad (1)

kamochan (883582) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197088)

I also did not wear a watch for a decade just for that reason - the mobile phone is always with me. But then I started scuba diving and couldn't find a mobile phone that could withstand the pressure of 30 meters of water, or sport a simple-to-use 1-hour timer... *sigh*

(A free hint to all you mobile phone developers out there, let's see someone combine a dive comp and a phone already! ;-)

Re:Idea = Good... implementation = bad (1)

PCeye (661091) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197354)

I agree. If you had to travel, its short battery life made the watch relatively useless unless you lugged the stupid charger around with you. A watch should be simple enough to forget about it. This one needed constant nursing if you wanted to keep it running.

The tiered plans available were a joke... all of which were different levels of mediocre.

Re:Idea = Good... implementation = bad (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199192)

What is it with people having to know the time at all times?

I stopped wearing a watch many years before I got my first mobile phone. It was after it broke down. I was hanging up the laundry that spent a few days forgotten in the washing machine, and my watch fell out of my pants' pocket. I hadn't even realised my watch was missing over the previous four or five days. It was broken, and I never ever considered to buy a new one.

Nowadays of course my mobile has a clock. Clocks are everywhere - most computer screens have one displayed at all times, watches are simply obsolete.

Re:Idea = Good... implementation = bad (2, Interesting)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23199566)

If you have a large phone, it can be a minor hassle getting it out of your bag or pocket everytime you want to check the time. Also, clocks are a little harder to come by when you're out and about. On my campus at least, there are a considerable number of classrooms without clocks; that, or they're positioned in a really awkward location (meant more for the professor's use).

Anyways, I picked up a Swatch-made SPOT watch for $15 on ebay a few weeks ago. Basic service is free, and even if they end that, it still makes for a decent cheap watch.

See SPOT fail. Fail, SPOT, fail! (1, Redundant)

metamatic (202216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23196966)

I always liked the idea, but I wasn't about to buy it from Microsoft.

Quote from Microsoft Boardroom (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197976)

"Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!â"One; two: why, then 'tis time to do't."

Re:See SPOT fail. Fail, SPOT, fail! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198194)

And the microshaft shills and apologists spring into action, wielding their -1 Mods!

Who is the market? (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197010)

The thing about all these devices that I never understood is who is the market? Business types who have smartphones? Geeks who have.... smartphones?

Personally I prefer my watch to be mechanical (automatic of course) as that demonstrates decent engineering, and when I want to know the weather, traffic, news or whatever I pull out my phone.

Seriously, what is the point?

Just Like the DataLink (4, Interesting)

MrLogic17 (233498) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197022)

Reminds me of the classic Timex Datalink watchs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timex_Datalink [wikipedia.org]
I had the original model, the one with the "Listen to the light" printed on binary on the wrist strap.

Both had the problem of good technology with way to small of an interface. Some day watch designers will realize that a watch size is about big enough for an interface for... a watch. And not much more.

Re:Just Like the DataLink (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197762)

The new USB versions are nice. I own one.

It is good for what it is...a device to keep track of alarms, appointments, contacts. I always have it with me, unlike my phone.

Re:Just Like the DataLink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198242)

I loved the data link watches! Rather than messing with a bunch of tiny buttons and less that intuitive interfaces. You just configure the software and beam it to the device.

And the beaming screen always tripped me out, I want a projector and throw that against a wall at a rave... Nerdy!

But alas those data links were never very reliable I had three over the years and none of them lasted more than two years unfortunately.

Now I have a watch that does time... And starts fires!
http://www.tacwatch.com/catalog/product_23980_Pulsar_PF3357.html [tacwatch.com]

FIRE!!! (said in a poorly approximated cornholio voice)

Re:Just Like the DataLink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23199114)

The DataLink is a perfectly good watch. I got mine cheap when Egghead was clearing out their physical stores, and it's run perfectly since. It's rugged, small, and waterproof.

Of course, since switching from CRTs to LCDs, I can't update the watch anymore. Guess I could build an LED interface, but I've been waiting for a perfect replacement watch to come along.

SPOT wasn't it...

Re:Just Like the DataLink (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 6 years ago | (#23201240)

Timex sold a notebook adapter, which was an LED interface for it.

Alternately, the new DataLinks have a USB interface.

Digital Watches... (5, Funny)

GogglesPisano (199483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197068)

Douglas Adams said it best:

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

I'll stick with my analog watch, thanks.
 
...and get those kids off my lawn!

Re:Digital Watches... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23206772)

Remember, that was written way back in the time when digital watches were really stupid. I recall having a cheap one (in the early seventies, I think) that had a red LED display and you had to push a button to get it to display the time.

Things have changed a bit since then.

Other dead things from Microsoft: (0, Offtopic)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197090)

Microsoft is the computer industry's Dr. Death. Here are other things from Microsoft that are dead, or declared eventually dead:

Death date set: Windows XP

Declared dead: FoxPro database programming language

Dead soon: PlaysForSure [slashdot.org] was corporate-speak for "we will kill it and destroy access to your music any time we want". Apparently the reason Microsoft executives wanted to reassure buyers by saying "Plays for Sure" is that they knew it was not sure.

And what exactly is a SPOT watch? (5, Insightful)

tobiasly (524456) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197114)

This post demonstrates one of the most annoying habits of Slashdot, which is its tendency to assume that everyone already knows what the hell the article is referring to in the first place. WTF is a SPOT watch? Has it been discussed on Slashdot before? Sure, it's easy to Google it but would it kill the editors to add a link to a description or a prior article?

Re:And what exactly is a SPOT watch? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197272)

Here, exactly, is what a SPOT watch is: http://www.msndirect.com/SmartWatchAbacus2006.aspx

Good enough for me (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197484)

"Microsoft discovers something else they are not good at"

It seems hardly novel enough to qualify as news.

Re:Good enough for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197936)

nope.

There's very few domains in our universe they haven't proven their incompetence in left.

Microsoft finding yet another untapped resource to fail at, that's news indeed.

Re:And what exactly is a SPOT watch? (1)

trongey (21550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197714)

Yeah, I HATE it when an article motivates me to go out an learn something I didn't already know.
The world should hand me all of my intellectual and physical needs on a nice platter.
Wah.

Re:And what exactly is a SPOT watch? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198256)

"Yeah, I HATE it when an article motivates me to go out an learn something I didn't already know."

If you're supposed to "be motivated to go elsewhere to learn stuff," what's the point of coming here in the first place? View the ads to keep Taco's lights on?

Re:And what exactly is a SPOT watch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23201772)

You mean the annoying habit of Slashdot assuming articles are for people who will know what the hell the article is refering to, or have the technical ability to look it up in seconds if they're curious? Oh that annoying habit. Yeah I hate that.

[captcha for this post: "unaided". well done guys.]

Re:And what exactly is a SPOT watch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23204418)

Try over rated. Insightful my ass. Have you ever heard of google.com try it next time. Some of us DO know what a SPOT watch is and don't need a hand holding primer.

Internet Ring (4, Funny)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197130)

How tiny is that screen? I think it is tending towards the infamous Dilbert 'Internet Ring' - an ultra-portable PDA that would let you surf the internet - one character at a time.

Do you want to read the screen? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23205588)

'A','L','L','O','W',' ','O','R',' ','D',E','N','Y'.

Yeah, that's going to be useful. Thank God they stopped this. I wonder how long Zune will last.

What The Hell? (3, Funny)

His Shadow (689816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197152)

Someone was still making those? That's like finding out that Microsoft Bob was still on store shelves. Or the same way I felt when I found out that Palm had stores.

I own one of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23197196)

I own one of these watches and they are great. It synched with the atomic clock, changed time automatically when I change time zones, which is on a regular basis, I can get local weather and info without having to page through some web-site on my cell phone.

Other advantage, different watch faces.

My three year old loves playing with this watch.

The almighty SPOT watch from outer space (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197206)

MSN Direct's program manager is quick to note that the underlying technology most certainly isn't going away.
It will be back... Next summer... More ugly and less usable... THE SPOT WATCH! (he will be watching you)

Timex Datalink (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197278)

I had a Timex Datalink and it was kind of a cool idea. The real issue I had with it was lack of real choice. It wasn't a generic device capable of fitting my needs, but a device made only to be used with a specific product, microsoft's mail package. It.

I don't know much about the SPOT, but I'm assuming it is a pseudo successor to the datalink.

Now, if they could make a cell phone you wear on a watch band, with no built in headset, and designed to use a bluetooth headset, that would be cool.

If they designed a watch band device with an open API and programmability, that would be pretty cool. You could make it do just about anything. Hell, you could put a pretty powerful computer on your wrist and use bluetooth keyboards and the X Window system for display over wireless. You wouldn't be able to play games, but you could do everything else.

Re:Timex Datalink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198748)

google for bluetooth watch. there are a few cell phone watches out there from $100-$200 as well as some watches with bluetooth caller ID, unfortunately not for my phone.

Website still available (1)

MrMunkey (1039894) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197400)

Looks like you can still activate a watch if you have one. http://direct.msn.com/ [msn.com]

Another option (2, Informative)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#23197690)

Not a full-blown PDA, but I've found that for managing some simple calendar things, occassions, alarms, etc, you can't beat the Timex Datalink USB watches.

I may or may not have a cell phone or PDA with me at any given time. I always have my watch, though, and all of my contacts, schedule, etc are on it.

Dick and Jane conclude: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23198022)

See SPOT die.

Too Bad (3, Informative)

RonMcMahon (544607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198228)

I own one of those watches as well, and I will be sad to see the technology go away. These watches had four significant shortcomings;

1) Coverage - SPOTty coverage outside of major cities. They need to be something that is as universal as a pager.

2) Watch quality - The watch that I own is the third one after the first two died a very premature death. Microsoft should have had Casio and Timex on board with devices not the likes of Fossil.

3) Price - Even though the cost was minimal, there WAS an annual fee to be paid. This should have been an ad-based service as I doubt that it would be difficult to cover the costs of the system with ads that are delivered to a user's wrist.

4) Lack of a hack - when techno users can easily hack and improve a system (especially something as geek-oriented as a SPOT Watch) the more likely they are to take it up with enthusiasm.

Well, here's to SPOT...may he live on and come back better, stronger, smaller and more accessible in 2.0

Steve Jobs is Right (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198498)

The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste. And I don't mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don't think of original ideas, and they don't bring much culture into their products.

Poor transition to Windows CE (1)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198512)

MS has a beta out for the Windows Smart phone version of this service. However they still have not yet launched a version that will work on PcoketPC's and Windows Phones that have a touch screen (yes that's right the demo only works on smart phones without touchscreens that use hard buttons for navigation).

What an amazing example of dropping the ball by being unable to transition without gaps to a new platform that you also design/own.

I expect Google to overtake them soon with a similar client application.

Of course it just goes to illustrate that windows CE should have had this service / client since the version 6 release for any kind of competition with the iphone.

My Garmin GPS uses this technology (1)

notaprguy (906128) | more than 6 years ago | (#23198604)

It's sort of cool. I tap on a link on the map and it shows me where the nearest gas stations are with the latest prices. It also shows the movie times for the nearest movie theaters and local weather. It's inherently an "embedded" type of technology - a feature of something rather than a product on its own. I can't imagine wearing one of those watches.

Never opened to developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23199600)

I remember seeing these, thinking they were geeky but kinda' cool. Supposedly they ran a tiny implementation of .NET, and MS was going to release and SDK for it, but never did. Reminded me of the Java Decoder Ring in that sense (except they actually released an SDK). I had one and it was very cool and very useless. Lost it though. Oh well.

Where's the evolved idea of this? (3, Interesting)

schweini (607711) | more than 6 years ago | (#23200214)

What i'd really love to have is a wristwatch that simply 'speaks' bluetooth, and lets me remote-control any compliant cell phone i have in my pocket. Additionaly, (and that's the catch), it would have to relay the phone's display onto it's own display, so i could use it to rudimentary surf the web, read SMS, use J2ME apps, etc. I wonder when this kind of interchangeable modularization will at last happen: the cell-phone will be the computing and communications module, the watch (or a micro-tablet-pc-like-thing) the display module, the headset the audio module, etc. It really doesn't sound so hard to implement (although i dont know of a bluetooth profile that could forward the display in an efficient manner), and this would IMHO really revolutionize the way that people could use mobile tech.

Re:Where's the evolved idea of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23201014)

Why not just get a cellphone watch?

Re:Where's the evolved idea of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23202660)

hmm,yes, but why stop there? I'd also like it be nuclear powered, do the dishes and maybe occasionally cook me a nice meal.

Yuo Fail FIt (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23200626)

of the GNAA I [goat.cx]

What Watches are good for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23202124)

Watches are good for telling the time/day/date, and keeping track of time.

They are invaluable if you are cooking things, and need to time several dishes cooking times. Or need to keep track of how late you stay out for lunch. Or how long you barbecue ribs, chicken, etc. How late or early you're running for an appointment.

Cell phones, etc. don't cut it for that usage. And all that other data stuff is just extra cruft that gets in the way of what Watches are good for:

Timekeeping, what time is it, and how long you've been doing something.

The best functions are analog watches with diver's type rotating bezels. It's dead simple and easy to use. You can see at a glance how much more time is left and how much time you've spent.

Second best are digital watches. They're more precise but lack the "how much time" at a glance that analog watches give you.

Casio makes good and cheap analog and digital watches. Seiko's diving watches (analog) are superb along with Bulova's. Though both being self-winding need resetting to time every day or so (lose/gain time). Swiss Army makes quartz analog watches that are great also, though they'll require $$$ battery replacement by a dealer who can keep them water-tight.

You really can't go wrong with Seiko or Bulova.

MS just made something that no one really wanted to buy in any big numbers. Since the watch function came second not first.

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 6 years ago | (#23207550)

Microsoft is the computer industry's Dr. Death. Here are other things from Microsoft that are dead, or declared eventually dead: Death date set: Windows XP Declared dead: FoxPro database programming language Dead soon: PlaysForSure was corporate-sp
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