The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is currently underway in Los Angeles, and all of the major tech companies are set to make big announcements. Today, Microsoft announced a new feature called SmartGlass that could change the world of TV and computing as we know it.
Basically, SmartGlass is an app that can connect to any Windows, iOS, or Android based device. It turns your phone or tablet into a complete media device. You can use SmartGlass to play TV shows on your tablet, turn it into another controller for your games, or use it as a remote control for the internet.
You can also use it as a ‘companion device’ while you’re watching TV. As an example, during their E3 presentation, Microsoft showed a clip of Game of Thrones on the main screen. On the SmartGlass enabled tablet, a map of Westeros was displayed along with relevant character information.
So what’s the catch? Well, you’ll need an Xbox in order to use SmartGlass. Fortunately, with Xbox 360s prices at record lows, it’s easy to add a 360 to your living room. With enhanced streaming technology and more apps than ever, Microsoft wants to make your 360 the center of attention.
The other major announcement related to SmartGlass was the Xbox 360’s ability to – finally – use the internet through Internet Explorer 9. Instead of using a traditional mouse and keyboard setup to control the internet, you can use your tablet or smartphone instead. Neat!
In short, SmartGlass wants to make your dumb TV smart. Just like Microsoft transformed how the world views PCs, they want to change the way the world views gaming consoles like the Xbox 360. Instead of being strictly viewed as your house’s gaming console, Microsoft wants it to be known as an all-in-one media station. With SmartGlass, Microsoft is getting a lot closer to achieving that goal.