ROCCAT Power-Grid app, Phobo gaming keyboard shift PC controls to your phone
Razer's switchblade concept may not have made it out of CES 2011, but its dynamic, adaptive keys lived on, both in the outfit's Star Wars: The Old Republic keyboard and Blade laptop. The hardware is slick, to be sure, but what if you could snag similar functionality for free from your local app marketplace? That's what ROCCAT hopes to deliver with its newly announced Power-Grid application. In addition to providing quick-key hungry gamers with a programmable touchscreen grid of applications and in-game macros, the handheld suite will let iOS and Android users monitor their gaming PC's vital statistics (such as CPU status, RAM usage, hard drive space, etc), manage Facebook, TeamSpeak, Skype and Twitter traffic, and even fine tune their audio settings -- all without the need to minimize their game.

Of course, delegating all of your text chatter to your smartphone means you'll be tapping up your responses on its itty-bitty touchscreen keyboard -- at least until ROCCAT finishes its companion keyboard, Project Phobo. The modular PC keyboard not only provides a dock for your Power-Grid equipped mobile, but also lets you respond to texts, chats and tweets using its full array of keys. Pairing your phone with the Phobo will even route voice calls to your PC's gaming headset, leaving you free to continue to rack up kills without missing important business calls. The German peripheral outfit will be rolling out the beta to iOS devices after CeBIT, and says an Android version is scheduled for release at Gamescom 2012. Hit the break for the official press release and get a look at the Phobo keyboard in the gallery below.

ROCCAT Power-Grid app and Phobo gaming keyboard press shots

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A First for PC Gaming: Command Using a Smartphone with ROCCAT Power-Grid

Exclusive technology represents a breakthrough in PC gaming control, makes expensive touch-display gaming devices obsolete, works with every PC, and is free to get started

Hamburg, 6 March 2012 – German gaming peripherals manufacturer, ROCCAT Studios, has introduced a groundbreaking technology called the ROCCAT™ Power-Grid that – for the first time in the history of PC gaming – lets players control their games and computer with their smartphone. And, in what is surely music to the ears of many players, the Power-Grid is completely free to get started.

Gaming evolved

"Some gaming companies claim PC gaming is sick and needs help," says René Korte, ROCCAT Founder and CEO. "We at ROCCAT have never thought that. We know PC gaming is alive and well. It just needs to keep evolving. Power-Grid represents that natural evolution. Why? Because it makes possible the dream of millions of gamers: to stay fully absorbed in the game no matter what happens in the real world. It works with every PC, makes expensive touch-display gaming devices obsolete, and is completely free to get started. Is PC gaming sick? Hardly. Is it dead? Of course not. It's evolving and getting a hell of a lot better."
Connect, monitor and control – all from a smartphone

The free-to-download Power-Grid is a tool that lets gamers connect, monitor and control their game and PC in real time while staying completely absorbed in the action. The app comes standard with four control displays – or "grids". Three grids have been preloaded with a wide range of essential gaming tools – and the fourth is completely customizable.

The first of Power-Grid's three pre-installed control grids is called the "Incoming Center". It routes all outside voice and text communication – from Skype™, Facebook®, TeamSpeak, Twitter, etc. – to an at-a-glance display on the gamer's smartphone. This means players can get messages from friends and teammates while staying in the game.

The "Stats Control" grid also comes preloaded with Power-Grid, letting gamers quickly and easily monitor their computer's vital data via their smartphone – info such as CPU status, hard drive space and network traffic.
The third preloaded display is the "Sound Control" grid, which allows gamers to set and fine tune every aspect of their gaming audio using just their smartphone. Gamers can even change audio settings in, for example, Skype™, with in-game music, or with their media player together or independently – for custom-tailored audio control made simple.

Create, build and share

In addition to the free Power-Grid app, gamers will need to download the free ROCCAT Power-Grid Launcher from www.roccat.org. This program not only connects smartphone and PC, it also features a powerful editor that lets players create their own custom control icons, or "blocks" – like individually-designed macro buttons from their favorite games, or specialty buttons like a pizza timer – for the ultimate in command customization.
Plus, users can easily share their self-styled blocks and grids with teammates, colleagues and friends.

Combine

At the end of the year gamers will be able to connect their Power-Grid-loaded smartphone to ROCCAT Smart Gear – new gaming hardware that delivers the ultimate smart gaming experience.
First on the horizon is Project Phobo – the "Phone Board". The Phobo is not only one of the world's most advanced gaming keyboards, it's also the perfect home for a smartphone using Power-Grid. And once gamers have connected their Power-Grid-enabled smartphone to the Phobo, they'll never need to separate the two. That's because players can write any kind of text message using the Phobo's keyboard – via Facebook®, Skype™, TeamSpeak, you name it – and because the Phobo also lets gamers take voice calls with a connected headset. And while connected, the Phobo will naturally charge a user's smartphone in case they do need to unplug it.

And following in the footsteps of the world famous ROCCAT Apuri Active USB Hub with Mouse Bungee, ROCCAT plans on introducing the Apuri 2.0 – a ROCCAT Smart Gear gaming assistant that acts as a stylish stand for a gamer's Power-Grid-enabled smartphone – and is the perfect way to keep it charged for when a player needs to step away from the game.

When will it be available?

Select attendees will be able to see the Power-Grid in action for the first time at CeBIT 2012. And everyone can apply to be a beta tester at power-grid.roccat.org.
Initial versions of Power-Grid work with all Apple iPhones using the latest version of iOS, as well as with the iPod touch. In addition to a compatible smartphone, Power-Grid requires a PC with Wi-Fi capability. ROCCAT will launch Power-Grid for Android smartphones at gamescom 2012.

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ROCCAT Power-Grid app, Phobo gaming keyboard shift PC controls to your phone