Microsoft says it's time to kill Smart Watches
While SPOT devices were released to great fanfare four years ago, the company says it will stop selling new watches.
Smart watches with the MSN Direct service have sold out, and the company has no intentions of producing new models. It says however, that it would continue to seek out new channels for the SPOT technology.
"We, along with our watch partners, do not have immediate plans to create a new version of the Smart Watch, as we are focused on other areas of our business," MSN Direct chief Jon Canan said in a statement.
Canan added that feedback the company had received on the product would be incorporated into future devices, just not apparently in watch form.
Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) powers the data push which made the watches "smart." Data was received through a inaudible data channel on select FM radio stations around the country.
However, Microsoft never seemed to be able to get sales to take off, and this may have been more of a function of somewhat limited coverage of the SPOT technology. Users generally needed to be within a major metropolitan area, and even there coverage was not consistent.
As a result, the handwriting may have been on the wall: New applications for the watches have not appeared in quite awhile, and the most recent models produced in 2006 by Abacus have been discontinued for some time.
Possibly in a last ditch effort to resuscitate the project, in 2006, Bill Gates recommitted to the platform, saying his company would continue to work on its distribution in an attempt to get things right.