By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
When the first SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) watches are shipped in the fall, information services beamed to the watches will cost consumers $9.95/month if they pay monthly or $59 if they pay for a year's service in advance, Microsoft announced.
The subscription service, called MSN Direct, will be beamed to watches via FM sidebands in more than 100 of the largest U.S. markets. At first, the service will deliver customizable news, weather, sports, stock quote, movie and dining information as well as downloadable games. Users will also get MSN Messenger e-mail and calendar-appointment reminders from Microsoft Outlook.
Information will be displayed on 120 by 96-pixel LCD displays in a mix of words and graphics that is "glanceable" and quickly absorbed.
The watches, priced from $100 to $300, will be available from Fossil, Suunto and Citizen in a variety of distribution channels, including department stores, sporting-goods stores, and CE retailers.
Future services enabled by the system's capacity include rush-hour traffic reports and downloadable applications such as play-by-play baseball-game updates.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.