Ready-to-Wear Wireless Fashion Show Provides Sneak Peek at New Smart Watches with MSN Direct

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 19, 2003 — At technology trade shows, the talk is usually of integrated solutions, enterprise scalability and platform management, not hemlines, accessorizing and clothing designs.

Fossil’s Dick Tracy Smart Watch, showing the calendar function of the MSN Direct service. Click image for high-res version. Click image for high-res version.

But the fashion and technology worlds came together Tuesday night at COMDEX Las Vegas 2003, site of a Ready-to-Wear Wireless fashion show showcasing the latest in wearable technology — based on Microsofts Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT). Unlike most runway shows, the styles on display were more than fashionable. They were functional.

Smart Watches with MSN Direct were center stage at COMDEXs first-ever fashion show, held at the Rain Nightclub in the Palms Hotel. Three male models wearing the latest designs from Fossil and Suunto strutted down the runway, demonstrating watches based on SPOT.

The sold-out show was among the first public previews of Smart Watches with MSN Direct. And it was clear early on that these watches were more than just a fashion statement. With an easy-to-read watch face and the MSN Direct service, people can customize the information that is delivered to their watch. They can get the latest news, weather, event listings, appointment reminders, personal messages and more — all accessible with just a flick of the wrist.

Microsoft worked with Fossil and Suunto to ensure Smart Watches could be dressed up or dressed down, depending on the time of day or needs of the wearer. One of Fossils Abacus brand Smart Watches featured in the fashion show offers an oval face and black and chrome body. Another model of watch on display, the rugged Suunto n3, works with an athletic lifestyle, providing relevant information while the wearer jogs or works out at the gym. Up-to-date local weather updates can help joggers or bikers determine the best outfit to wear before hitting the road, while training regimens can be integrated into calendar functions.

“Smart Watches with MSN Direct are a fun new way for people to get the information they care about delivered to an accessory they wear everyday,”
says Cindy Spodek Dickey, Microsoft’s group marketing manager for SPOT.
“Being part of this high-energy fashion show is a great venue to illustrate how technology and lifestyle products can merge in exciting and innovative ways.”

The watches on display Tuesday night will hit stores across the United States and Canada in early 2004, the same time Microsoft launches the MSN Direct service. People can choose from two subscription plans; US$9.95 a month with the first month at no charge, or $59 for a full year.

NOTE: At COMDEX Las Vegas 2003, MSN Direct received PC Magazine’s “Best of COMDEX” award in the category Mobile Devices (see Related Link at right for additional information).

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