And you thought Microsoft was going out on a limb creating webcams? Ha!
Actually, Melitta, which produces a number of coffee products, is going to introduce the first coffeemaker that tells us the most important thing in the morning: the weather. Not only does it keep the time [good for when the power goes out in the morning, and you need that cup of jo to start on time], but it also keeps all kinds of weather data. Basically, it’s a mini Oregon Scientific Regional Weather Station and coffeemaker in one.
Not only does the coffeemaker brew great-tasting coffee, it also provides animated weather information on its large, bright-blue backlit LCD display. MSN Direct region-specific up-to-the-minute weather information is transmitted via an FM signal within minutes of plugging in the coffeemaker–there’s no set-up, subscription, or Internet connection required. The appliance displays the current temperature and conditions, high and low temperatures, and chance of precipitation, as well as four-day weather forecasts. The coffeemaker also displays scrolling weather information; visibility; sunrise/sunset time; the UV index; and national weather-service warnings and alerts (the display flashes when a warning alert is issued). In addition to its optional sleep function, where if the unit is idle for a period of time an animated, napping cat appears, the user interface can display a 12- or 24-hour clock; temperature in degrees F or C; along with English, French, or Spanish languages. The 10-cup programmable coffeemaker with animated coffee and weather information measures 8 by 11 by 14 inches and carries a one-year limited warranty.
Clearly every home needs one, especially with the napping cat screen saver! Seriously, it’s clear that Microsoft is taking the MSN Direct technology to v2 and beyond as it finds more useful devices for the inexpensive SPOT technology. Additionally, with it’s new DirectBand Network initiative, Microsoft is trying to reach out to other product makers, hoping to develop partners and make MSN Direct a must-have. After all, who wouldn’t want the weather on their coffeemaker?
This is of course just one of many devices that will be running on the Microsoft .NET Micro Framework and DirectBand Network in the near future. Gates is making the technology a priority, and with the Windows Vista release, we’ll start to see SideShow on laptops, and that’s just the beginning…
Go ahead, have a cup of coffee: It’s your grind, redefined.
Update: Picture Added