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Introducing Microsoft's SmartGlass
Posted on October 23, 2012 by Drew Bergmark

With the official release of the new Xbox 360 dashboard, we step closer to an additional feature that was announced at this year’s E3 press conference: Xbox SmartGlass. You know all your smart devices that you play around with while you are in a Call of Duty lobby or while watching the latest episode of Mad Men on Netflix? Well now you can integrate them into a new entertainment experience giving consumers the chance to breach traditional one screen form of entertainment into multiple screens. And I’m not talking about the 3DS.

Xbox SmartGlass works by combing your Xbox 360 to work with all smart devices which includes cell phones & tablets outside of the Microsoft brand, making the expansion of entertainment easier while not forcing consumers to rush a purchase they might have regretted depending on if they don’t like the new Windows 8 user interface.

From making music & movie streaming from a smart device to your Xbox 360 possible while also giving you additional information about the media you are consuming, SmartGlass is the next step in living room entertainment. Music & movies aren’t the only things you’ll be enjoying as you can also you connectivity to internet via Internet Explorer plus getting to watch any sport in your favorite sports app.

While watching movies on your device hasn’t been shown off in a practical sense yet, the demo shown in the video above makes consumers believe that it’ll be a nearly seemless experience when moving movies that you are watching on your tablet directly over to the Xbox 360. The only problem that I see is that the original Xbox 360 console doesn’t come with traditional Wi-Fi so you’ll be having to stream your content from the device to the Internet and finally to whatever Xbox your device has been integrated with. Now for those with low bandwidth speeds or limited bandwidth, you’ll probably notice a little bit of lag between when your program while continue on your TV via that 360. For those with the new Slim 360, there is Wi-Fi capability so your smart devices will communicate that way.

The idea of giving consumers the chance to read into what they’re watching is great as I’m never focused with watching movies or music unless I’m wrapping up my evening, giving Generation Y the chance to ditch their ADD. Honestly though, if I’m going to watch some TV or movies on my Xbox, I’m probably going to keep my fingers going with a social network instead of reading into what movie I’m watch but from time to time I’d be interested if I don’t know much about the production crew or the cast. The one question that I have for those who are going to be using SmartGlass: can you use the integration for the movies or MP3s you on your phone outside of any programs or applications?

Over the last month, football has kicked back into full gear and unfortunately I’m not talking about the Premier League. The NFL & NBA have warmed up and gotten ready for their seasons and each league is offering you new and different ways to experience your sports outside watching it from traditional cable. With league passes enabling you to watch all games within each sports league, you have seemingly unlimited access to how you can connect to your sport and now with SmartGlass you can connect to your friends on another level.

Similar to how the ESPN application started off a couple years ago, you can guess to see who will win whatever game you are watching and you can get concurrent results of other gamers on Xbox Live along with results from friends, which creates a more social interface making conversations between friends sitting on the couch on a Sunday more intriguing.

While I know most of you won’t be rushing to use the ‘supreme’ browser, the new Internet Explorer application will give you the chance to cruise the net from the comfort of your couch. Using your phone or tablet as a mouse & keyboard, you’ll be able to use the interface just like a laptop’s touchpad. Honestly, I don’t see myself using in that many instances other than if I were show off cool or entertaining websites likes Cat Bounce.

With websites like YouTube & Hulu being made useless as they’ll probably be blocked in order to make the actual applications useful, Internet Explorer will be available just to allow consumers to have another way to surf the net outside of their laptop or desktop.

There is so much more to talk about Xbox SmartGlass but we can’t because we haven’t gotten our hands on it yet and we won’t until Friday. I wasn’t even able to tackle what’ll be available for games but then again these sort of apps usually go from game to game on how much support there’ll be. Until then you can keep busy by checking out the new dashboard which looks almost exactly like last year’s model. I’ll be giving you all a run-down of the upgrades & downgrades of the dashboard including a hilarious mistake by putting Minecraft in the Xbox Live Indie Games.

Drew Bergmark - Staff Writer viggo (@) original-gamer.com | all author's articles

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