Microsoft has revealed a new innovation during the current 2012 E3 video game trade show called the Xbox SmartGlass. SmartGlass is a system that seamlessly connects various gadgets such as the cellphone, the tablet, the PC, and the television to the Xbox. The result is an easy way to access information on these devices with minimal to no interruption.
Microsoft demoed the technology during E3, where the SmartGlass system was showcased as an intelligent companion for the Xbox 360. Gamers can utilize it to plan plays in strategy-based games, to view the game inventory, or to search for content on the game’s background without disrupting the gameplay. SmartGlass devices can also accept input for games, functioning as controllers.
SmartGlass was also used to allow users to watch a show on a mobile device then transfer the show to the television without having to search where the user left off. Meanwhile, they can use the tablet to search for information on the show, such as the cast members’ names while the show continues to play. It essentially acts as a second screen, supplementing whatever is playing on the Xbox 360. SmartGlass can also be used to access the web through Internet Explorer, or to use Xbox 360 apps.
This technology is Microsoft’s answer to Nintendo’s Wii U Game Pad, a controller that can browse the Internet, stream content to a television, and has social networking features. To ensure that users enjoy a variety of content on SmartGlass, Microsoft partnered with companies such as Nickelodeon, Univison, ESPN, and Paramount Movies. An Xbox Music Service is also in the works.
A cross-platform solution, SmartGlass will be available not only on the Windows 8 platform, but also on the Windows Phone, Android, and iOS devices. Windows, however, notes that the features offered by SmartGlass depend on the device used to access the app, and thus, may vary. SmartGlass will be launched by Microsoft next year.