November 16, 2006 12:08 PM PST

MSN coffeemaker gives gadget tech a jolt

Is Microsoft secretly hoping that you can do without Al Roker?

A whole-bean coffeemaker developed by MSN Direct and Melitta gives you a morning weather report without having to turn on a TV or computer.

Melitta coffeemaker

The Melitta Smart Mill & Brew Programmable Coffee Maker, which hit stores Thursday, has an FM receiver that works with MSN Direct's data service. The latest gadget using Microsoft's Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT), the coffeemaker displays regional information on the current weather, daily forecast, chance of rain, and sunrise and sunset times.

Microsoft has been touting SPOT for years, promising that it would be used in all types of devices, from refrigerator magnets to consumer electronics to, yes, coffeepots. For the most part, though, the technology has thus far shown up only in watches, which have been far from a mainstream retail success.

MSN Direct launched a series of smart watches in 2004, and now Fossil, Swatch, Tissot and Abacus all offer watches with FM receivers for MSN Direct service. The MSN subscription service offers information such as news, sports scores, traffic updates, weather, Outlook calendar reminders and texts via MSN Messenger.

The coffeemaker, which sells for about $200 on Amazon.com or at the Sharper Image, has a display similar to, but not as detailed as, the WeatherNow from Oregon Scientific, which also uses the MSN Direct service.

See more CNET content tagged:
Smart Personal Objects Technology, MSN, Microsoft Corp.

4 comments

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It probably will crash with a virus
Why not, every other MS technology does.
Posted by Microsoft_Facts (109 comments )
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You will probably die very disappointed
Have you ever heard any report about Xbox Live crashing, idiot?
Posted by Ryo Hazuki (378 comments )
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Too Freakin' Cool!
Finally something Microsoft makes that makes sense since Windows XP (sans Vista). I think it is a very cool concept and I would love to have one.
Everybody remember me on your Christmas list, especially you Bill and Melinda Gates.
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
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$200? Rip off!
$200 for a coffemaker, have you ever heard of thermometers. Some thermometers tell date, time, and weather.
Posted by siyangqiu (8 comments )
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