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Samsung demos dual-device gaming

Samsung has demoed a video game on its Samsung Apps platform for TVs controlled by a separate app on a Samsung smartphone, but insists this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Samsung has started delivering apps on multiple screens and believes the next step is having two devices playing different roles in the same application. The company demonstrated this concept with a fishing game played on a Samsung TV controlled by a Samsung Wave smartphone.

The app on the Samsung Wave controls the action on the TV. (Credit: Samsung)

Communicating over a Wi-Fi connection, the TV and the phone play different roles in the game and display images on-screen relating to the player's experience. In the fishing game, while the TV displays the view from the boat over a lake, the handset displays player controls, making use of the internal accelerometer to control the casting of the fishing line and the reeling in of caught fish.

The fishing game is a simple proof of concept, but Samsung says the possibility is there to take the idea much further. The company has already created apps that transform your phone into a TV remote, which also lets you use a touchscreen phone's on-screen keyboard to type in text fields in apps on the TV.

In Sydney for its first developer days, Samsung is hoping to appeal to local developers by offering access to their devices not available through the SDKs of competing smartphone manufacturers. Samsung's product portfolio, including flat-screen TVs and laptops, could offer developers an opportunity to create tools that interoperate across several devices, and to create software in a space that few people are currently working.

But Samsung is not alone in these ambitions, in fact two of the biggest names in computing are working towards similar goals. Microsoft and Google both have new smartphone software in the works, with Windows Phone 7 and Android 3.0, and they intend to harness the power of apps on TVs, tablet computers, notebooks and smartphones. Google's upcoming Google TV project is built on the Android operating platform and the search giant is working towards building tools to help developers not only build apps that scale on different screen sizes, but have the capability for different devices to work together on a single task.

Microsoft plans to approach the "three screens" (phone, PC and TV) in a slightly different fashion, with its new Windows Phone 7 operating system sharing some of the digital DNA behind its Windows 7 OS and Xbox 360 gaming console. These similarities could result in apps that perform a continuing function across the three screens, like a video game you start playing on your phone which you can then continue playing at home on the Xbox.