Remember when Pink wanted to get the party started, the San Jose SaberCats eked out a victory over the Arizona Rattlers in Arena Bowl XVI, and James Bond was played by Remington Steele? Of course you do. It was only 2002. That’s also when Microsoft unveiled Smart Personal Object Technology (SPOT). Bill Gates introduced the revolutionary technology that would change the world. A simple, little device you could wear as a watch that could not only tell time but give you a weather report and tell you the latest news. Sounds all too familiar in the era of smartphones, cell towers, and Wi-Fi. The problem is that Gates & Co. based their ideas on FM transmitters.
Earlier this week Microsoft officially ended the SPOT program.
The watches and follow-up devices pointed accurately to a future of connected devices, but in the end they weren’t the right implementation to connect with mainstream consumers. It’s an example of Microsoft having a good sense for where technology was headed but not clearly seeing how people would incorporate the connected world into their everyday lives.
Great idea guys. Ahead of its time for sure. Say “hello” to laser discs and Beta video tapes for me.