La Crosse Technology Introduces Weather Direct

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LAS VEGAS — La Crosse Technology, based in the Wisconsin city of the same name, unveiled Weather Direct, a multi-SKU Internet-powered personal weather system during CES.

The product will use a high-speed Internet connection to deliver customizable multi-day forecasts and current weather information for up to five cities of the more than 600 available city choices.

"What is the first thing you talked about this morning?" asked Bud Baechler of La Crosse. The response from the audience wasn't a comment about a new television technology, world events or even the New Hampshire primary. It was, "the weather."

To that end, Baechler reaffirmed that Weather Direct would be a product that will provide all the weather information users could possibly need, and even wake them up to the latest information. "If it won't change the world, it will change the way the world accesses weather information," he said.

Based on proprietary technology from La Crosse Technology, the Weather Direct system provides weather alerts, atomic time, automated voice greetings, news feeds and even a variety of alarm clock sequences, including a wake-up that can tell you current weather conditions as well as a daily forecast. The system is designed to be expandable and upgradeable, so that the forecasting will always be fresh, current and up-to-date.

Consumers will have the option to get weather information for their home, as well as four additional locations of interest, with the ability to update the location choices at any time. These can include vacation spots or just the favorite golf course a few miles away. The Weather Direct system can also provide weather alerts for these specific locations.

The Weather Direct system will be gather weather related data, as well as news and other information from a variety of sources, including satellite-based forecasting and RSS news and data feeds. This can be provided to the user without the need to boot up a computer.

La Crosse Technology announced that there will be up to 10 SKUs launched in 2008, with the system ranging in price from $49.99 to $129. Weather Direct can't drive away the clouds on a rainy day, but it can remind you to bring the umbrella for that afternoon thunderstorm.

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