Abacus by Fossil
The first Smart Personal Objects Technology (or SPOT) Watches, that I saw two years ago were bulky and just not appealing for users. The face and body design were much heavier than their digital counterparts and they sometimes required a lot of charges depending on how many times you accessed channels. What’s more, there was a limited amount of choice that you had with the channels, as these first generation devices shipped with personal messages, calendar updates, and customizable content in the news, sports, weather and financial arenas. The latest versions of Smart Watches from Fossil are more visually appealing devices that have been completely redesigned to accommodate these shortcomings, which definitely add to the mainstream appeal of the timepiece itself as you will read in this review
The first thing that you’ll have to do upon opening the box is charge the watch by placing it on the charging cradle for four hours. This is crucial not only to replenish the battery but to establish the wireless connection the watch uses to update its information, such as synchronizing displayed time with an atomic clock. Using an antenna embedded within the watch band (located in the clasp), the Smart Watch receives updates via a wireless network based on FM radio signals. This means that you may wind up running into the same signal issues that you might have with a stereo (weaker or stronger depending on building material, natural topography, etc), but you’ll essentially be connected to the network wherever you go. Fossil has done a fabulous job with the overall engineering of this watch and makes a great business casual watch to wear day in and out.
Connecting to MSN Direct provides you with access to continually updated national news and weather channels, along with a calendar (options included with the watch right out of the box). Any one of these features can be accessed at the press of a button, with what’s called the Glance feature. MSN Direct has just recently offered a limited version which costs the end user nother. However, to take advantage of the watch’s full capabilities, MSN Direct offers the Smart Plan. For 39.95 a year, you’ll gain access to eleven separate categories of information. Along with your calendar, weather and news, you’ll be able to track stock quotes, find movie listings at nearby theaters, or get sport scores, track horoscopes, find winning lottery numbers, read daily trivia or download new digital watch faces.
All of the above items are easily configurable via a simple web based interface, and it’s easy to add or remove sections at will thanks to pull down menu screens. What’s more, any changes you make are beamed out to your watch in a matter of minutes. I also thought adding the option to receive personal messaging via MSN Messenger as well as calendar updates via Outlook for twenty dollars more a month was a good choice. This feature was quite easy to add since it was a 2 meg download with an outlook plugin. Users will notice that any changes within the week will be sent wirelessly to the watch.