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2002 Fossil Wrist PDA
The Fossil Wrist PDA came in Palm and Pocket PC version and with a 190KB memory that could store 1,100 contacts, 5,000 To Do items, 800 appointments, or 350 memos.
The 2002 device aimed to prove that a watch could deliver all the capabilities of a PDA (remember them?) into a piece of hardware that could be worn on the wrist. This was one of number of smartwatch models released by Fossil during this period. Fossil recently said it is working with Intel on a new generation of smart wearable devices.
2006 Microsoft Spot
Inevitably Microsoft had its own smartwatch project running, as part of its Smart Personal Objects Technology (Spot) Initiative.
As a Microsoft exec said at the time: "Imagine how handy it would be to have a travel alarm clock that, in addition to telling time very accurately and auto-adjusting to time-zones, could also wake you to your favorite WMA-encoded music, display information about road closures along your expected travel route, and deliver urgent messages." Yup, very handy.
This information was delivered via FM radio signals which could be picked up in around 100 US cities (plus some in Canada), through an antenna built into the watchstrap. The watch above came with a free year of MSN Direct Smart Plan which delivered news, business, technology and sports reports to the watch. For an extra $20 users could also get access to two days' worth of Outlook Calendar appointments and text messages via MSN Messenger.
The watches - perhaps unsuprisingly - weren't a huge success. As well as being bulky and requiring frequent charging, the small screen meant a limited amount of information could be delivered and the ongoing cost of subscribing to services made them a less than appealing prospect. Microsoft shuttered its Spot project in 2008. There have been rumours that Microsoft is working on a fitness band although nothing has appeared so far.
2007 Sony Ericsson MBW-150
Still, the demise of Spot did little to dampen the tech industry's enthusiasm for smartwatches. But, as mobile phones become more sophisticated, the idea of pairing a watch with a phone became something for tech companies to explore.
Here's the Sony Ericsson MBW-150 – the watch could be paired with a Sony Ericcson phone via Bluetooth and had a small single line OLED display. When an incoming call is received, the watch would vibrate and show either the name of the caller or their number. The watch could also notify the wearer about new text messages, and came in three models: classic, music (above) and executive.