During GDC 2012, peripheral manufacturer Roccat Studios introduced the Roccat Power-Grid app, a solution that lets users control their PC games and other computer applications in real time straight from their smartphone.
The free app comes standard with four control displays -- or "grids" -- three of which are preloaded with a wide range of essential gaming tools. The first "Incoming Center" grid routes all outside voice and text communication from services like Skype, Facebook, TeamSpeak and Twitter to an at-a-glance display on the smartphone.
The second grid, called "Stats Control," lets users quickly and easily monitor their PC's vital data via the smartphone. Stats include CPU status, hard drive space, network traffic and more. The third pre-loaded grid is called "Sound Control," and as the name implies, allows users to set and fine tune every aspect of their gaming audio using just their smartphone.
As for the fourth grid, it's completely customizable. Custom control icons, or "blocks," can be created using the free Roccat Power-Grid Launcher download which installs on the PC and connects your rig to the smartphone. Users can create individually-designed macro buttons from their favorite games or design a specialty button like a pizza timer.
According to Roccat, the app is just the tip of the iceberg. "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," the company states. "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."
Once gamers have connected their Power-Grid-enabled smartphone to the Phobo, they’ll never need to separate the two, the company claims. Players will be able to write any kind of text message via Facebook, Skype etc using the Phobo’s keyboard. Phobo, also serving as a smartphone charger, will even let gamers take voice calls with a connected headset.
Roccat also plans on introducing the Apuri 2.0 (seen below), a Roccat Smart Gear gaming assistant that acts as a stylish stand for a gamer’s Power-Grid-enabled smartphone. "It's the perfect way to keep it charged for when a player needs to step away from the game," the company adds.
"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.
Initial versions of Power-Grid work with all Apple iPhone and iPod Touch devices using the latest version of iOS. 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. In the meantime, gamers interested in testing the iOS beta can head here.