Xbox SmartGlass will link Microsoft's console to tablets
Published: 4th Jun 2012 19:33:25
Microsoft has unveiled SmartGlass: a service to allow tablet computers and smartphones to communicate with its Xbox 360 games console.
It allows users to control games on the touchscreen devices and can show extra information about progress.
It also lets the handhelds act as controllers for the firm's Internet Explorer web browser, which will launch on the console later this year.
The move poses a challenge to Nintendo's Wii U Game Pad.
While the Japanese company's product is specifically designed to enhance the experience of using its next-generation console, Microsoft is offering users a way to extend the functionality of its existing games machines via third-party devices they may already have.
"Xbox SmartGlass works with all the devices that you already own: the TV you already own, the phone you already own and the tablet you already own," said Marc Whitten, head of Microsoft's Xbox Live division.
"Xbox SmartGlass turns any TV into a smart TV."
He added that SmartGlass will also enhance television programmes streamed through the Xbox.
He gave the example of a viewer watching Game of Thrones on their television and being able to look down at their tablet to see where on-screen characters were located on a map of the show's fantasy world.
"It lets Microsoft say that you don't need to buy new hardware to have a two-screen experience," Stephen Totilo, editor of gaming website Kotaku, told the BBC.
"Nintendo looked to be ahead of everyone else on this, but now Microsoft is breathing down its neck. But there may be a little bit of smoke and mirrors here as I'm not convinced SmartGlass will have as much functionality as the Wii U offers."
The announcement was made in Microsoft's keynote presentation at the E3 video games trade show in Los Angeles.
Presentations from Sony and Nintendo will follow.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Xbox SmartGlass will link Microsoft's console to tablets [Online] (Updated 4th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1432727/Xbox-SmartGlass-will-link-Microsofts-console-to-tablets [Accessed 19th Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
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