Microsoft's SmartGlass on Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8
As E3 is just getting started we managed to sit down with Microsoft's Peter Orullian who not only has the most wicked ponytail ever but also gave us a personal tour of SmartGlass. As many of you know, Microsoft yesterday pulled the cover's off of the new technology which looks to unify media playback and enable "second screening" while watching a movie or TV Show.
SmartGlass will be device agnostic as there will be companion apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and of course it's all powered by Xbox 360.
Many in our audience are already familiar with the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone--a virtual remote control for the Xbox 360. From our discussion and hands on with SmartGlass we can tell you that this is in essence version 2.0 of the Xbox Companion app. Although SmartGlass won't be ready until this holiday season, the app in its early stages looks very similar to Xbox Companion and is in fact built off of the concept and UI, making this app feel quite familiar.
SmartGlass for Windows Phone looks a lot like the Xbox Companion app
From our demonstration, we were impressed. Although "School of Rock" is a test movie for the system, the ability to see dynamically as characters came on and off the screen reflected on the tablet was simply amazing. What's really neat about the SmartGlass concept is that creators are free to do whatever they want with the system, giving them powerful leeway to make new experiences. It's universal, optional and will deliver a similar experience across platforms.
Make no mistake, we think SmartGlass is a game changer and can't wait till this Fall to get our hands on it. Watch our video below to see it all in action.