Xbox One Multitasking Takes the Spotlight
The company offers a glimpse of its vision for the connected living room with the Kinect-powered, voice-enabled Xbox One.With less than a month before the Redmond, Wash.-based tech titan releases its next-generation Xbox, the company's popular video game and streaming console, Microsoft is showing off the strides it has made to forge its software, cloud services and sensor technology into the multitasking, multimedia-savvy Xbox One. In a newly released promotional video from Microsoft, an Xbox One user puts the device through its paces using little more than his voice. After powering up the console by uttering the "Xbox on" command—its included Kinect sensor can remain in a low-power, always-on listening mode—the Xbox One's personalized home screen welcomes the user and springs to life with Windows 8-like tiles. The message: Loading widgets and screens are a thing of the past. The video then goes to show the Xbox play a movie, access the user's activity feed and join a game and watch live TV using voice commands with lag-free, instant switching between modes. As the user voices each instruction, a microphone icon pops up in the upper-right-hand corner. Familiar chimes confirm that a command has been received and the desired action is being initiated.
In addition to quickly switching between apps, games and media, Microsoft is also highlighting the game system's social features' ability to do two things at once. While watching TV, the user "snaps" in the included Internet Explorer browser to search Bing. While playing a game, he records footage and shares it with his gaming circle. Finally, he accepts a Skype video call—which instantly fills the screen—hangs up and shuts down the device with a parting voice command.