Feeds

Microsoft dusts off Smart Objects

Run SPOT, Run

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.