Watches using Microsoft’s SPOT technology that are capable of displaying information they receive wirelessly won’t be available this week as was originally planned. Instead, their release has been delayed until 2004.
SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) was unveiled in January by Microsoft. SPOT watches will be able to display headlines, weather reports, and other information by monitoring FM radio transmissions. The service will cost $10 a month or $59 a year.
The first SPOT watches were supposed to debut at COMDEX this week. According to ExtremeTech, these have been delayed until the first quarter of next year to allow time for more testing.
Citizen, Fossil, and Suunto have said they intend to release SPOT watches, and Fossil is currently giving a preview of its offering on its web site. However, Citizen is now considering dropping plans to offer a SPOT watch.
This situation must feel familiar to Fossil. It has suffered significant problems trying to release the Wrist PDA with Palm OS, which will combine a watch and a handheld and run Palm OS 4.1. Fossil had to announce in September that this device was having production problems and the company didn’t know when it would be available.