Feeds

Microsoft dusts off Smart Objects

Run SPOT, Run

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft has managed to convince Garmin to embed SPOT technology into some of their GPS devices, while also expanding their transmission network with Clear Channel to broadcast SPOT content over their HD Radio network.

Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) was a service launched by Microsoft back in 2003 when they managed to convince several brands of wristwatch that their MSN Direct service was the way of the future. Fossil, Swatch and Tissot were amongst those who fell for the spiel and launched watches with little screens to display broadcast information. All have since quietly dropped their SPOT products as the market turned out not to exist.

But while most of us had forgotten SPOT, it seems Microsoft has just been waiting for the right application, and by integrating the technology into GPS devices they might have made a very clever move. Users of GPS, by definition, want local information, and Microsoft intends to broadcast traffic updates, cinema listings and even the price of petrol locally.

The current MSN Direct network covers about 70 per cent of the US population, though that will significantly increase with the announced Clear Channel deal. The HD Radio network is digital radio, with spare bandwidth for programming information; and it is this spare bandwidth which be utilised by Microsoft for their next generation of SPOT devices which they hope will be available to 90 per cent of the US population by the end of 2008.

Initial GPS devices from Garmin will use the existing network, and be out in the next few months. Microsoft are working with other manufacturers to embed the technology in both reference designs and products, as well as looking anywhere else such broadcasts might be of value. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.