In the late ‘90s, Microsoft’s research division started work developing the SPOT platform, which it planned to integrate into everything from GPS navigation units to coffee makers. To expedite its arrival, instead of working with big telecommunication companies to implement new wireless networks which was a costly proposition (just look how long it’s taking for 5G to roll out across the country), Microsoft’s engineers and SCA Data Systems developed an alternate technology called DirectBand which wirelessly delivered data using existing FM radio broadcasts. Microsoft leased the 67.65 kHz subcarrier from existing FM broadcasters in over 100 cities which allowed them to transmit at speeds that equated to roughly 100MB of data per day… More here.
Always a shame when a product fails for being too good. I remember the Fossil PalmOS watch as well although that wasn’t particularly good to be honest.