Razer’s Switchblade concept on your iPhone.
Do you remember last year when Razer showed off their amazing Switchblade concept laptop during CES ’11? The same concept of touch based keys which change according to the game being played has carried over into the new Razer SWTOR keyboard and the Razer Blade gaming laptop, both of which have yet to come out. The Razer Switchblade itself is probably lost in concept PC peripherals history at this point.
What if we tell you German peripheral maker ROCCAT beat Razer to the punch and has created an iOS App that does pretty much all the Switchblade’s customizable keys did? For free no less! Say hello to the ROCCAT Power-Grid application.
The Power-Grid is an app that basically syncs up to your PC over WiFi and provides some extremely useful features. First off all of your external communication through 3rd party programs like Skype, Facebook, TeamSpeak, etc. all go onto the ‘Incoming Center’ grid of the app. Think of it like a rolling Twitter feed with inputs from multiple social media communications. You can type on the iPhone directly to communicate with your friends, while gaming on your PC remains uninterrupted.
Secondly there’s the ‘Stats Control’ grid which shows you your computer’s stats, such as CPU and RAM usage, HDD available space, Network usage, etc.
Third, there’s the ‘Sound Control’ grid, whereby you can set in-game audio settings as well as those programs outside of the game, like Skype, Windows Media Player, etc.
Last, but not least, is the most exciting feature of Power-Grid, that draws many similarities to Razer’s Switchblade: the ‘Custom Tab’ grid. This is where you can create custom macros and commands for different games to be used in-game in addition to your keyboard. Think of it like additional customizable macro keys for each of your games. Of course, many keyboards come with customizable macro keys, but how many of them change their icons on the keyboard itself?
Roccat will, of course, be releasing a keyboard by the end of the year, called ‘Phobo’. Basically the Project Phobo will have a built-in area where you can insert your iPhone and use Power-Grid in tandem with the keyboard. You can use the keyboard itself to communicate using Power-Grid, while it also charges your smartphone.
Of course, for those who don’t want to upgrade their existing keyboards can use the upcoming Apuri 2.0 USB hub, that will set your smartphone at an inclined angle.
While both the Phobo and Apuri 2.0 will be out towards the end of the year, people who want to try out the Power-Grid app right now on their iOS devices can apply for the beta. Android owners will have to wait a good number of months until Gamescon later in the year.