If you’ve been paying attention to E3 news this week (the Electronic Entertainment Expo currently underway in Los Angeles), then you may have heard about a new feature called SmartGlass.
SmartGlass is going to change the way people use tablets, and unlike other disappointing Microsoft announcements in recent years, SmartGlass actually looks really cool.
Here’s what we know about SmartGlass so far:
What is SmartGlass?
SmartGlass is an app that connects your tablet to your Xbox 360. Basically, it turns your tablet into a second screen – and a remote control – for your TV. By working in tandem with your Xbox, SmartGlass allows you to connect with your TV shows on an even deeper level.
An example at E3 provides a sneak peek at how useful SmartGlass could be. During Microsoft’s presentation, SmartGlass was enabled while watching an episode of Game of Thrones. While the episode played on the big screen, the presenter’s tablet displayed a map of Westeros and other information relevant to the episode. Very cool!
SmartGlass also allows you to turn your tablet into a remote control for your TV, easily picking and choosing which episode you want to watch next or using the keyboard to search for shows you have recorded on your Xbox.
What do I need to run SmartGlass?
You don’t have to have a Windows 7 tablet or a Windows 8 tablet in order to use SmartGlass. Instead, SmartGlass will run on any iOS, Android, or Windows based device. It doesn’t even have to be a tablet! You can run SmartGlass on any smartphone as well. You will need an Xbox 360, however.
Will all TV shows support SmartGlass technology?
As you’ve probably guessed, maps of fictional lands won’t spontaneously appear when you’re watching any fantasy show. Instead, TV content providers will have to work these extra features into their programming. HBO has already done so with its HBO Go feature, and it’s up to Microsoft’s other content providers to take the reins from here.
We don’t anticipate this being a problem. After all, every media company is looking for the best way to connect with tablet users, and Microsoft’s SmartGlass is an easy way to do just that.
When will SmartGlass be released?
Everybody wants to try out SmartGlass as soon as possible. However, it won’t be released until “later this year.”
What does WindowsTabletReviews.net think?
Many people are calling SmartGlass ‘revolutionary’, and we have to agree with those people. SmartGlass will change the way people use their tablets. Instead of just mindlessly browsing Facebook while you’re watching your favorite TV show, you’ll be able to follow along and gain supplemental information about it.
And, once you leave the room, you’ll be able to take your TV shows with you. Of course, these features are the only ones that have been announced so far. By the time SmartGlass releases, Microsoft will have likely added at least a few new features.
As the world’s best Windows tablet reviews site, we’re incredibly excited about the potential of SmartGlass. With Xbox 360 prices at record lows, Microsoft looks to take control of your living room. And, as the world’s largest software company, that is most definitely a good thing.