Dick Tracy Watch: More Vaporware From Fossil?

Fossil’s got a bad record when it comes to releasing high-tech wristwear, as evidenced by the amazing disappearing Palm OS watch that was supposed to be out long ago and may be shelved indefinitely. But that doesn’t stop them from coming out with some fancy looking designs like this “Dick Tracy” watch with Microsoft’s SPOT technology that allows customized content to be delivered wirelessly to it. There are also more subdued “round” and “square” designs without the faux camera. These watches will get weather updates, news, sports, blah blah blah over the radio networks with a subscription service from Microsoft ($10/mo.?). Other than that, they look like any other watch that has made the unfortunate allusion to Dick Tracy. Price $200, expected..?

I predict this whole SPOT thing will fail miserably, and anyone who buys one of these will be left with a dorky looking “Dick Tracy” watch that doesn’t do anything and that they couldn’t sell for $5 on the street. SPOT technology has been tried before, in a way, with Timex’s pager watches that had basically the same function. While M$’s model is slightly different and should allow for more data and better customization, at its heart it is one-way communication that users have given up on long ago. Wristwatches are vanity at this point, since pretty much every feature one could possibly put in a watch is already handled by a device that everyone carries with them anyway: the cell phone. So don’t waste your money on SPOT watches, just save it for a nice Patek Philippe.