updated 10:35 am EST, Thu November 16, 2006
In an unusual collaboration, Microsoft and appliance designer Salton have announced the Melitta Smart Mill & Brew, a coffee-maker that displays real-time weather information from MSN. It specifically uses MSN Direct, a wireless delivery service. Weather information is broadcast across the FM band in over 120 North American cities, and then received automatically by the Mill & Brew and displayed on an LCD panel. There are no subscription fees for the service. The product is a part of Microsoft's SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) initiative, which has already seen MSN Direct watches from Fossil, Swatch, Tissot and others. The Mill & Brew costs $200 and be found at shops such as Amazon and Sharper Image.