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Microsoft's SmartGlass spotlights entertainment push

As the rumor mill predicted, Microsoft has unveiled an application called SmartGlass that lets users beam content from their mobile devices to the Xbox 360.

Microsoft's Xbox SmartGlass.
Microsoft's Xbox Smart Glass
James Martin/CNET

Microsoft has shown off a new multiscreen entertainment platform called SmartGlass.

Unveiled today at Microsoft's keynote speech at the E3 gaming expo, the platform allows users to play video and other media from their mobile devices on their big-screen television, thanks to the Xbox 360. In addition, it acts as a mobile companion to enhance gameplay.

Microsoft's announcement today confirms an earlier report claiming that Microsoft was planning to launch an AirPlay competitor.

According to Microsoft, the new SmartGlass will work on Windows, Windows Phone, and the Xbox 360. In addition, it will support Android and iOS. The feature allows users to enjoy entertainment on a single product, and then send that over to their Xbox to pick up where they left off.

To add more value, tablets and smartphones will act as a companion, allowing users to see more information about the program being watched on their Xbox, thus creating a "multiscreen" experience.

Microsoft envisions game developers using SmartGlass to allow players to make decisions on a mobile device that then communicates with the Xbox. In Madden NFL 13, for example, it allows users to modify play calls from the mobile device.

Microsoft will launch its SmartGlass platform this fall.

This story has been updated throughout the morning.

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