Microsoft just announced a new feature called Xbox SmartGlass, a “second screen” feature that allows you to view information about media on the screen of a mobile device or PC.
SmartGlass allows you to view movies on multiple devices – viewing a movie on a tablet and then transferring the video to the screen, for example – and offers detailed media information on TV and movies playing on the big screen at home or on the go.
In the on-screen demo, for example, SmartGlass offered a live map of Game of Thrones as the action appeared on screen, creating an “intelligent companion” to the video.
SmartGlass also allows you to view the web on an Xbox 360 using Internet Explorer. The tablet or phone becomes the keyboard and you can easily browse web pages without having a physical keyboard in the living room.
On the gaming front, SmartGlass connects with current games playing on the screen and allows players to plan plays in sports games or view inventory on a tablet. The service works on iOS tablets and phones as well as Win8 tablets and Windows Phone phones.
The feature closely resembles Nintendo’s Wii U controller but requires no proprietary hardware. Microsoft calls it “the web transformed for TV.”