Ok, I’m not going to claim to have researched the feasibility of this, but I’ve been eyeing various models of the MSN Direct (SPOT) watches for years now, but every year I check the coverage maps, and every year I am disappointed that coverage hasn’t yet expanded anywhere near my location. I was wondering if it would be possible for Microsoft to design and build a personal USB connected Low-Power Unlicensed FM transmitter that could provide sync and data to these watches.
My understanding is that these watches already get all of their data over FM radio data channels, so it would probably only require minor changes if any to make it work with a “MSN Direct Base Station”. Most of us spend the majority of our days near one or two internet connected computers, so this solution would keep the watch almost as up to date as if we were in a real coverage area. And since the personal base station would only be syncing our data, it might even provide faster updates of the information we care about.