Here's part of an article on M$'s new initiative to have "smart" devices everywhere:<br><br>"The demo SPOT units are wristwatches and fridge magnets, which seems to us contradictory from a ubiquity point of view. Practically everybody has a watch, here in Europe people have nearly as many of them as they have mobile phones, and practically everybody has the watch with them all the time. But not fridges. We know that the European fridge industry is sadly underdeveloped compared to the US, but even there, we're almost certain, very few people have a fridge with them all the time. Nor are they near the fridge all the time. And if they are, they can't read the fridge magnet because the door's always open. "<br><br>SPOT stands for "Smart Personal Objects Technology," by the way.<br><br>I've often wanted to have access to the weather when I've been walking outside, doncha know.<br><br>edit: Thought I'd add the last three paragraphs of the article:<br><br>"Really, the sense of SPOT is nothing to do with watches and fridge media experiences. It's a network play, designed to carve Microsoft a place in a broadcast market that some people have started to notice, but that's still pretty fragmented. If the network is there, then the devices can be anywhere, and anything. Some of them could be small, but others wouldn't have to be - they could be in cars, getting the traffic reports, they could be in PCs, or they could even be in mobile phones. The chips are intended to be small, cheap and low power, so the functionality could effectively be viewed as free, and so long as Microsoft gets the data broadcast networks right, it could end up owning a whole new channel. <br> <br>"If this comes to pass, it will be interesting to see how the charging works. The first generation of devices will have unique IDs, and there's some potential there. They'll be able to hook up to PCs, so that could provide a return pipe for authorisation of paid for services, and Microsoft also talks of using them as some kind of universal security authorisation, instead of smartcard, car keys or whatever. Nightmare, yes, agreed, but authorisation implies a revocation ability, so although the device itself can't be zeroed remotely by design, the devices it interacts with have to be able to know instantly if its security is compromised. Lob in Bluetooth, infrared of some kind of local radio transmit capability (you weren't going to unlock your car with a real key, were you?) and there's some more communications potential added to the picture. <br> <br>"So there you go. In the world of the future Microsoft owns your front door, your car, everything electronic everywhere, everything that didn't use to be electronic but is now, the ubiquitous broadcast data networks, and it can maybe even kill your dog if you forgot to renew its rabies innoculation. Happy new year. "<br><br><br><br>Great wits are sure to madness near allied.--John Dryden, "Absalom and Achitophel"<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by yoyo52 on 01/09/03 10:15 PM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
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