While Xbox SmartGlass was announced a while back, the full official release is expected at the end of this week. I’ve been using the beta for a while and you may remember our early preview of the software, but SmartGlass has evolved a lot since then. Microsoft posted the below video on YouTube, to demonstrate a few of the features coming to SmartGlass for Windows 8 as well as Windows Phone. With a SmartGlass device connected to the Xbox 360, you’ll be able to control the Xbox interface very easily with the touch screen, but you’ll also have the fantastic touch screen keyboards to use when typing searches or URLs into the Xbox. While you’re playing a game, watching a movie, or using some other app like ESPN Sports, you’ll (sometimes) also get additional content on the SmartGlass device for further interactivity. One of the coolest new features is the web browser session sharing capabilities. The “Play Here” and “Play on Xbox” buttons in Windows 8 work with Internet Explorer to transfer the web page you were looking at to a larger living room screen or a smaller portable screen. The browser session sharing works with Windows Phone as well. So say some one sent you a link to a web page in your email, you open it on your phone as you’re just getting home and decide you want to read it on a bigger screen… just tap “Share Page” and then “Xbox” to load it on the big screen.
Of course all of this will work with the Windows RT based tablets as well, and in my opinion, this will be one of the better uses for inexpensive Windows RT tablets (since they can’t run high end x64 programs). Are you ready for this kind of tablet, phone, and Xbox TV integration?