Microsoft introduced Xbox SmartGlass at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Contrary to how the name may sound, SmartGlass is an app that works with Windows 8 to link up tablets and smartphones with the Xbox console and, by extension, a user’s TV. It also works with with Apple devices, such as the iPhone and iPad, or mobile devices running Google’s Android operating system.
According to Microsoft, the new SmartGlass will work on Windows, Windows Phone, and the Xbox 360. In addition, it will support Android and iOS. The feature allows users to enjoy entertainment on a single product, and then send that over to their Xbox to pick up where they left off.
More than just enabling a user to send the video he is watching from his mobile device to his TV, and vice versa, SmartGlass enables tablets and mobile phones to be used as companion devices. This would allow the user to pull up additional information about what he is watching. For example, during a demo at Microsoft’s media event, as the speaker watched a scene from HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” a map of the show’s expansive world popped up.
Then on the gaming side, players will be able to enhance gameplay on their mobile devices. Microsoft envisions game developers using SmartGlass to allow players to make decisions on a mobile device that then communicates with the Xbox. In Madden NFL 13, for example, it allows users to modify play calls from the mobile device.
Microsoft plans on launching SmartGlass this fall.