Microsoftâ€™s Pessner Shares SmartGlass Service Details (Exclusive)
By Lyndsey Schaefer
Microsoft recently announced its SmartGlassâ„˘ service, which connects the Xbox experience to tablets and smartphones in an intelligent way. SmartGlassâ„˘ communicates with the Xbox 360, allows users to send media between devices and brings supplemental information to tablets and smartphones.
Ron Pessner, Partner, Group Program Manager, Interactive Entertainment Business for Microsoft, says that the goal of SmartGlassâ„˘ is to allow for a much richer entertainment experience.
Users will be able to play media on multiple devices simultaneously, or move content they were viewing on a tablet over to a television screen, while the mobile device starts serving out relevant information about the movie or TV show. SmartGlassâ„˘ can also be used for gaming.
â€śSmartGlassâ„˘ in general turns your phone or tablet into a second screen with supplemental information to deliver a better entertainment experience,â€ť Pessner says.
The SmartGlassâ„˘ announcement was buoyed by the announcement of Microsoftâ€™s newly announced tablet, Surface.
â€śWe saw a bunch of opportunities for a second screen. Thereâ€™s a big consumer demand, and as devices become more capable, consumers are looking to consume entertainment on them,â€ť Pessner says.
Microsoft also confirmed that its Internet Explorer software is coming to the Xbox 360. SmartGlass will enable users to browse the Internet on their television screens using their smartphones to interact with Web sites. Pessner also says that SmartGlass will not only be a free application on Microsoft, but it will also be available on IOS and Android devices.
â€śSmartGlass is a single app that will tune to whatâ€™s happening on the Xbox, so it really simplifies things for the user. They just have to launch this app on the device, and the app will do the work, making sure the userâ€™s activities are reflected,â€ť Pessner explains. â€śI think the part that resonated was that consumers are looking for technology that makes the entertainment experience more engaging and simpler. They have these smart devices, but donâ€™t know how to unleash their capabilities.â€ť
One such capability is using SmartGlass to control the television, as it is equipped with an intelligent screen to scroll through libraries, allowing for content discovery. On the gaming side, new Microsoft role-playing games will allow consumers to see interactive maps, character dossiers and much more supplemental information. Pessner is also excited about the launch of the SmartGlass SDK, which will bring client and web technologies together in a way that makes it possible for builders to leverage experiences.
â€śThe creators are looking to engage customers across different screens; we wanted to create an easy way for them to do that,â€ť Pessner says.
Pessner will give an overview of SmartGlass and capabilities of the platform and a product demonstration at tomorrowâ€™s 2nd Screen Summit in NYC. For more details, go to: http://www.2ndscreensummit.com/nyc/ or http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/smartglass.