updated 10:55 pm EST, Mon January 2, 2012
Move affects some GPS devices, SPOT watches
As expected, Microsoft has finally put an end to its MSN Direct wireless service. The aging system took advantage of FM signals to transmit data to a variety of devices, including Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) watches, in-car and standalone GPS navigation systems, and other gadgets.
Spot watches, which were offered from companies such as Fossil and Suunto, had utilized MSN Direct to provide users with information such as weather reports, stock prices, news headlines and sports scores. The system was also used by Garmin for traffic notifications and gas prices.
The technology has been made mostly obsolete, particularly in the age of smartphones. The connected watch concept has not died, however modern devices, such as the Meta Watch and Motorola's MotoACTV module, typically use Bluetooth to communicate with cellphones. [via Engadget]