Microsoft and watch maker Swatch say they are offering a new line of wireless data watches, bringing the era of Dick Tracy wristwatch radios one step closer.
The watches offer news, sports, weather and stock quotes, among other snippets of content, via Microsoft's MSN Direct wireless data service. Twice the number of information channels of earlier Microsoft-based models are available.
Known as the "Paparazzi" line, the computerised Swatches also offer local entertainment updates through a deal with publisher Time Out, as well as a chance to meet celebrities.
The watches come with three levels of service. Each comes free with local weather, news headlines and stock index levels. For $40 (22 pounds) a year, users can receive more weather data, personalised news and sports scores, stock quotes, horoscopes and the like. For $60 annually, they can receive instant messages and calendar reminders from their PC if they use Microsoft Outlook software