Microsoft unveiled its latest gadget at its press conference this morning — a free application for Xbox 360 that uses the viewer’s mobile phone or tablet to display additional information while they are playing games or watching TV.
The app will support Android and Apple as well as Windows products.
A short demonstration saw SmartGlass send relevant map and character information to a tablet while Game of Thrones was played on the Xbox 360. It was then used to display Halo 4 maps as the game was being played, and shortly thereafter, multiplayer lobbies and invitations to matches.
Later, integration with the just-announced Internet Explorer for Xbox 360 saw mobile devices being used as trackpads.
SmartGlass also allowed a movie to be sent from a mobile device to the Xbox 360, where it resumed play from where it had been previously paused.
A clear attempt to undercut Nintendo’s Wii U Gamepad by not requiring a new hardware purchase should the user already own a tablet or smart phone, SmartGlass shows that Microsoft is still hoping to wring an extra couple of years out of the aging Xbox 360 hardware.
A release date for SmartGlass has not yet been announced.