Today, at E3, Microsoft revealed new forms of technology that they hope with usher in a new era of home entertainment. Before you get too excited, their next-generation console, which will presumably be dubbed the Xbox 720, has yet to be announced. However, while it’s no Xbox 720, their latest announcement will, if nothing else, raise a few eyebrows.
Microsoft revealed a new type of technology that’s meant to be used for the Xbox 360 in conjunction with an iOS, Android or Windows Phone device: “SmartGlass”. The new technology will enable Apple users to wirelessly stream content to their TVs in an AirPlay-like fashion. However, while it sounds familiar, they aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel. SmartGlass will empower the connected mobile device to act as a second screen for the content that’s streamed to the Xbox. Essentially, while a TV show or movie is being streamed, the mobile device will display data pertaining to the content and will even offer peripheral controls for select games.
SmartGlass brings AirPlay-style wireless technology to Xbox and Windows 8 by letting you send video from your tablet or phone to your TV. It then turns that second screen into an information window giving you data of the content you’re watching. Plus, it updates the info on your mobile device as the content on the TV changes. The app also enables peripheral controls for games you’re playing — so you can scroll through different plays on your tablet while playing Madden on your big screen, for example.[as reported by Engadget]
It seems as if Microsoft is starting to embrace Apple’s mobile domination and use it to their advantage, doesn’t it?
The new SmartGlass app for Xbox will rollout alongside a decent number of other major content additions – including Internet Explorer, the addition of Nike+ integration of select games and various sports and music streaming services for the 360. Furthermore, Microsoft is planning to bring enhancements to the controls for their Kinect; including voice navigation for the upcoming Internet Explorer app.
With the massive changes coming to the Xbox 360, Microsoft is certainly making an impression on the home entertainment industry. Of course these new additions won’t be the only intriguing announcements at this year’s E3 – stay tuned for more coverage.