LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5, 2005 — Microsoft Corp.’s Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) Group today announced that Smart Watches for MSN
Direct and its watch manufacturing partners will unveil new Smart Watch designs at 2005 International CES to further meet consumer needs and build the Smart Watch category. In addition, the SPOT Group plans to develop MSN Direct-enabled devices with Oregon Scientific, an industry leader in the design and development of innovative consumer products, and with MZ Berger, an industry leader in the U.S. clock and watch market.
“We’ve had a strong year in attracting new Smart Watch partners and providing additional rich MSN Direct content, and we will continue to expand the category based on consumer feedback,” said Bill Mitchell, corporate vice president of the Mobile Platforms Division at Microsoft. “We look forward to another great year of working with our partners and expanding the SPOT line of products with Oregon Scientific and MZ Berger.”
SPOT Platform Expands to New Product Lines
Together with Oregon Scientific, Microsoft’s SPOT Group plans to develop a state-of-the-art weather station alarm clock, powered by SPOT technology. Weather information has continued to be a high priority for Smart Watch owners, and soon consumers will be able to leverage that rich content in a specially designed alarm clock. The alarm clocks will come in a variety of styles and price points, and will feature MSN Direct weather information such as the day’s forecast, high and low temperatures, a three-day forecast, sunrise and sunset times, and more.
MZ Berger is a leader in high-tech alarm and wall clocks under the Sharp brand. These include “atomic” or radio-controlled clocks, as well as multifunction alarms, including styles for the desk or home office markets. Together with Microsoft®
SPOT, these clocks will soon feature MSN Direct content and functionality.
Smart Watch Partners Introduce New Styles; MSN Direct Celebrates One-Year Anniversary
At CES 2005, Suunto will unveil the Suunto n6hr Smart Watch, which features a heart-rate monitor and advanced sports training tools, such as interval timers and training manager software, in addition to the available MSN Direct services. The Suunto n6hr will soon be available in sporting goods and consumer electronics stores in the United States and will retail for $399 (U.S.).
Fossil Inc. will show two new ABACUS Wrist Net Smart Watches that will be available in two styles and feature new casings and an assortment of colorful integrated leather bands.
In addition, MSN Direct and Swatch will offer a commemorative CES Smart Watch that features Las Vegas-style watch faces, to be awarded to select CES 2005 attendees.
Since being launched at CES 2004, MSN Direct has added two new Smart Watch partners, Swatch and Tissot, and has doubled the number of content channels available on Smart Watches. In addition to news, weather information, stock quotes, personal messages and calendar appointment reminders, MSN Direct subscribers can receive sports scores, movie listings, trivia, horoscopes and lottery results.
“Consumers continue to demand increasing access to information while mobile,” said Alex Slawsby, senior analyst at IDC. “Throughout 2004, Microsoft made significant improvements to its Smart Watches for MSN Direct solution, adding new technology partners, watches, content and channels throughout the year, improvements that will broaden the appeal of the solution in 2005.”
About Smart Watches and MSN Direct
Smart Watches and the MSN Direct service, part of Microsoft’s Smart Personal Objects Technology initiative, allow people to conveniently and discreetly receive the information that matters most to them, with just the flick of a wrist. Manufactured by Fossil Inc., Suunto, Swatch and Tissot, Smart Watches utilize MSN Direct to receive personalized content, multiple watch faces and automatic time-zone adjustment based on location.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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