Xbox SmartGlass: Microsoft's multiscreen strategy

SmartGlass will let consumers view complementary content on devices like tablets and smartphones

Microsoft is hoping to create an immersive experience across multiple devices where users can consume different, complementary content on each platform with new software called Xbox SmartGlass, unveiled at the E3 entertainment expo.

To see SmartGlass at E3, watch a video on YouTube.

At this year's show, Microsoft made its hardest push yet for content other than gaming on its console. Trying to entice a general audience rather than just hardcore gamers, Microsoft showed that SmartGlass could work with television shows, movies and Web browsing.

In one example a promotional video showed how gamers playing Madden NFL could craft a play on a tablet, then execute the play in the football game. Once a gamer picked up a tablet, the game would pause, then resume once the settings were adjusted. In another example, a gamer playing Halo 4 could access additional information after reaching a waypoint in the game. The tablet content included player statistics and a closer look at the game's plot line through a series of videos.

Microsoft also showed how a user could start watching a movie on a tablet, pause it, and then resume watching it on a television.

Marc Whitten, vice president of Xbox Live, demonstrated how SmartGlass could be used with TV shows. While playing a clip from HBO's "Game of Thrones," a tablet displayed a map of where the scene was taking place.

"My phone and tablet are keeping up with all of the action on the TV," he said.

In addition to games, television shows and movies, SmartGlass worked with Web browsing. Game consoles like Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 have long featured Web browsers, but they've typically been difficult to navigate with a game controller. Whitten showed how consumers could use a smartphone to control what's happening in Internet Explorer on Xbox. He scrolled through a Web page and was able to pinch to zoom in. All actions on the smartphone were also completed on the Xbox-connected television.

SmartGlass will work on Windows 8 PCs and tablets, Windows phones and other devices like Apple's iPad.

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Barber

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?