Thursday, January 09, 2003

BW Online | January 9, 2003 | Bill Gates on His "Spot" "Microsoft Chairman William H. Gates III unveiled his new Dick Tracy-watch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 8. The new gizmo gives users personalized, up-to-the-minute information such as stock quotes, sports scores, local weather, news headlines, horoscopes, calendar info, and even one-way instant messages -- all on their wrist. The data will be beamed over FM radio airwaves to the gadgets, wherever they are. Consumers will pay $120 to $300 for the watches and perhaps $99 more a year for the data service.
The watch is the first product to roll out using Microsoft's new Smart Personal Object Technology -- or Spot. Microsoft (MSFT ) expects to follow the watch with a travel alarm clock that will cull traffic data and your calendar info to suggest an appropriate wake-up time so you won't miss your first meeting of the day. Also on the drawing board: key-chain fobs that provide the same sort of data as a watch but might be more appealing to those who don't want a big watch face on their wrist.
[Gates:] The processor we have here makes the original PC look like a complete joke. This thing has 10 times the memory of the original PC. And it has more processing power than the original PC. It's just interesting to see somebody react to it who hasn't been involved in the project and have them go, "No, you can't really do that. Does it work? No -- it's got to be too big? Where does it work?"
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