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Xbox One: Video recommendations, SmartGlass update, and relaunched Xbox Live rewards

Xbox One Console

We’ve had a hectic week with Microsoft releasing so many new updates to its most of its products and services. In this post, we’ll be focusing on the recent Xbox One updates. We already reported how Xbox upgraded their GPU and CPU recently and how the Xbox One will be released on November 22nd. Today we will focus on the the new Xbox Live Reward Program, the updated SmartGlass experience, and the recent partner with Xbox, Jinni, to improve content catalog recommendation lists.

First up, the updated Xbox Live Reward Program. After Microsoft got rid of the Xbox Live point system, they replaced it with local currency. But now, they have introduced a new feature that allows users to exchange credits into cash that can be spent at the Xbox Stores on all platforms, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows Phone and Windows 8.

To get credits, there are certain tasks that the user has to do. A user can simply earn 3,000 Reward Credits by simply renewing an Xbox Live Gold membership. 3,000 Reward Credits equals $3.00 USD. Every time a user gets 5000 credits, they automatically switch to local currency equaling $5.00 USD on every 15th and 30th of the month.

To earn more points, 1,250 credits can be earned for the user’s first Xbox Store purchase. Monthly surveys can serve users 250 credits only and referring a friends gets the user 1,000 credits. Xbox users can now sign up at rewards.xbox.com to start earning their Reward Credits. 

The next update involves the SmartGlass experience for the Xbox One. The feature has been enabled on Xbox 360 for some time and everyone is liking it. It involves a mobile device or a tablet and allows the user to communicate with the console. Microsoft is revamping this feature and has revealed that the Xbox One was specifically engineered and designed to maximize gameplay with mobile devices and tablets.

According to Microsoft, it will now take only 4 seconds to connect the SmartGlass device to the Xbox One, compared to the much slower connection time with the Xbox 360. The SmartGlass will directly send packets of data to the Xbox One using only WiFi connection instead of controlling the Xbox through the cloud. The Xbox One will allow 16 SmartGlass linked with an Xbox One console, unlike Xbox 360’s limit to 4 connections only.

The SmartGlass app will also allow the user to troubleshoot any problems the Xbox One encounters. Since developers can release their own game titles, they will have to enable this feature if the user goes through any trouble. The SmartGlass app will also allow gamers to look up their Xbox Live achievements, friends list, messages, and saved video clips from the Xbox One’s DVR. The SmartGlass can also act as a remote for the OneGuide feature in Xbox One. To get in-depth information about this updated experience, visit Xbox Wire.

The latest update that was introduced is the new and improved Xbox content catalog recommendation lists. Xbox has decided to work with Jinni over the course of multi-year licensing because of its successful pilot project. Jinni is a provider of natural language processing-based video content recommendations.

According to TechCrunch’s Darrel Etherington, he states that “Jinni works by categorizing movies according to their “genes” metadata which the service’s proprietary “Entertainment Genome” tech ascribes to film and video content based on mood, style, plot, setting and more that adds depth to the typical discussion of genre and broad categories.

New movies get indexed automatically when released, with Jinni combing user reviews and sympses found on the web and parsing out the relevant data needed to build a kind of virtual genetic code for each.” Yosi Click, who is the co-founder and CEO of Jinni tells TechCrunch that “the Jinni solution will be used to power discovery of professional video content, such as TV shows and movies, within the content selection pages, Jinni is the only discovery engine that is based on semantics […] So when you ask Jinni for a recommendation it answers like a best friend, who also happens to be a movie expert, and therefore knows exactly what you’ll enjoy watching.”

No one knows if Jinni will be implemented in the Xbox One on the day it gets released, November 22, but we will just have to wait for the actual announcement of when it will be available to Xbox One users. To learn more, visit this link.

All these features being released is thanks to the number of pre-orders that the Xbox One is getting. Every time Microsoft released a new batch of consoles available for pre-ordering, they continue to sell out. Microsoft Studios vice president Phil Spencer said “We feel great about the number of units we’re going to have at launch. Our pre-orders are going really well; better than they did for the 360.”

Microsoft believes their console is the “most premium console” compared to the competition. 

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