Windows 8 ships on the same day as Xbox SmartGlass (Photo : Microsoft)
Microsoft will release Xbox SmartGlass, its initiative to connect tablets and smartphones to the Xbox 360 interface, on October 26.
SmartGlass's most basic functionality is navigation. Microsoft's official site notes that the app will "include key foundational experiences for interacting with your Xbox 360, such as dashboard and app navigation and Internet Explorer control, like text input, scrolling and pinch and zoom."
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The Redmond-based company promises that consumers will be able to start playing media, such as music, sports, games, or shows, on their tablet or smartphone, and then move it to any HDTV that the Xbox 360 is hooked up to. By connecting touch input gestures to the console's interface, Microsoft looks to make Dashboard navigation more intuitive and efficient.
Aside from navigating the Xbox 360 interface, SmartGlass also allows consumers to dig deeper into the experiences that they enjoy. Microsoft advertises, "Enjoy rich second screen experiences that automatically change and customize based on whatever you're doing at the time. Playing Halo? You'll see all the Halo activities. Watching Game of Thrones? See related activities like interactive maps and episode details."
SmartGlass capitalizes on a technological and cultural trend to construct new avenues of communication between devices and people. The living room space is becoming progressively unified by devices that are only becoming more common as time passes. While some may compare SmartGlass to the Wii U, it is clear that Microsoft's philosophy is to take advantage of existing technology to increase the appeal of their console as opposed to solely using proprietary control devices.