The scenarios are as common as fedoras and overcoats in a Dick Tracy cartoon: A glance at your watch first thing in the morning shows all the day's meetings. A panel in your closet tells you the weather as you're getting dressed for work. And as you open your car door, a small screen reveals current traffic conditions and suggests the best route.
Like wrist communicators and personal jet packs, these futuristic scenarios never seem to materialize. Think again. A new technology from Microsoft Research, called Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT), implants always-on wireless connectivity in simple accessories from watches to pendants. SPOT will update your watch with the local time and weather wherever you are via a unique identifier in each device. "SPOT products are the start of a trend toward increasingly smaller, specialized, potentially throwaway data delivery devices," says Jack Gold, a vice president at research firm Meta Group. Read my full review at PC Magazine's Web site.