Microsoft’s biggest news week in years has just rounded off with word that it’s launched the SDK for its second screen companion platform, Xbox SmartGlass. What magic is the Beeb and its cohorts about to come up with?
Ever heard of ‘apps’? No… Us neither. Apparently they’re big news, though, which is why Microsoft has decided to plow a bit more time into getting them everywhere, and making them cross-pollinate.
If you remember our coverage of Microsoft’s E3 2012 briefing, you’ll know that Windows 8 should bring with it the launch of SmartGlass – a platform for apps that will run on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone, and that act as a second screen for your Xbox.
Today, MS has announced that it’s released the SDK for SmartGlass, with the aim that developers will be able to fill the thing with apps by the time it launches. The SDK includes the SmartGlass Studio builder, a library of sample code and a number of device APIs.
This is exciting stuff, because it’s now largely in the hands of the developers as to what SmartGlass turns into. The BBC recently pumped time and energy into making a top-notch iPlayer app for the Xbox with Kinect-based powers bundled in, so we’re excited to see what it could do with SmartGlass, for one.
Imagine watching an Attenborough doc and being able to see extra facts on your phone, watching Eastenders and being connected to all the relevant tweets, or starting an episode of Sherlock on your Xbox and carrying on while on the go. The possibilities for second screen tech are numerous – we just hope that the developing community gets behind it.