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The amount of connected devices we use every day has increased dramatically in the past few years. Whether we’re using our phones, desktops, laptops, tablets, smart TVs, or wearable tech, the number of screens that we look at to provide information and entertainment are increasing.
Microsoft thinks this is a serious issue and has outlined its vision to bridge the gap between all of these devices. It calls this vision the “Companion Web.”
“For developers, Companion Web represents an opportunity to reuse code that works across multiple scenarios, enabling greater reach and ways to engage an audience,” Microsoft senior product manager Bryan Saftler said in a blog post today. “For consumers, Companion Web means you’ll seamlessly move from one device to the next, interacting with your photos, videos, music, movies, television shows, files, and more.”
The first app to use Microsoft’s Companion Web is Polar, which shares your opinions with friends and others about anything.
Polar’s Companion Web app works across multiple screens so you can give your opinion about content you’re watching in real time. In its first video demo, a person is holding an iPhone and is watching TV as well as looking at a web app on a Microsoft Surface. When the person taps on the iPhone app, the input automatically registers over on the web app on the Surface.
Ideally, these types of Companion Web interactions will make our “second screen” use more relevant. It means that something you do on a phone or tablet could automatically register on your smart TV (and vice versa).
Check out the videos below to see the first Companion Web app from Polar in action and a video from Microsoft outlining the Companion Web.