RealTime IT News

Yahoo! It Just Keeps on Ticking...

Timex, the venerable watch company best known for its slogan of "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking," has signed a "Web-to-wrist" deal with Yahoo! Inc. that will bring news, stock quotes and even e-mail to the forearms of timepiece users all over America.

With the "Timex Internet Messenger Fortified by Yahoo!" watch, Middlebury, Conn.-based Timex claims to be the first to market a watch that allows the user to receive Internet e-mail, news, weather data, sports scores and stock quotes anytime and virtually anyplace in the United States.

Data transmission is made possible by a partnership between Timex, Motorola and SkyTel. Financial terms among all the various companies were not disclosed.

All Timex is asking is that watch users give the timepiece a chance.

"The Timex Internet Messenger isn't just about bringing a lot of technology to the wrist, it's about delivering real, useful innovations and features that makes everyday life a little easier," said Jan Mladek, vice president of marketing for the product. "Yahoo!'s offerings fit perfectly into that idea."

Timex and Yahoo! paired to create a mobile alerts Web site that allows watch users to customize the Timex Internet Messenger experience. This page, accessed by linking from the Internet Messenger home page or logging on to Yahoo! Mobile, offers enriched content and lets watch owners customize the wireless information feeds sent to their watches.

"The combination of advanced technology and unsurpassed brand recognition that both these companies possess makes for a very compelling offering," said Sridhar Ranganathan, general manager of Yahoo! Everywhere.

The watch can receive and store up to 16 Internet e-mail, numeric or word messages. The wearer can choose both the speed and direction of the messages as they scroll across the watch's display. There is also a choice of a silent vibrating alert or several musical chimes for notification when new messages have arrived.

Pricing for the watch is about $100 and it's available in three styles; wireless services are provided exclusively by SkyTel and start at $9.99 a month.

The Timex slogan, by the way, was made into an American advertising industry icon by John Cameron Swayze, said to be the first anchorman on network news. He appeared in Timex watch commercials for more than 20 years, and became one of the most recognized personalities on television. He died in 1995.