Roccat app turns smartphone into PC gaming accessory


— 3:26 PM on March 6, 2012

Want to use your smartphone to monitor and control your PC while gaming? There's an app for that—multiple ones, actually. Roccat's new Power-Grid software looks quite a bit more robust than what we've seen previously, though. The app will be available for free, and Roccat is currently accepting beta testers.

There are actually two applications: one that runs on the smartphone and another for the PC. They communicate with each other over Wi-Fi, and the PC app allows users to customize the controls available on the smartphone. It looks like users will be able to do all kinds of things with the interface, such as adjust volume levels, monitor system variables, track incoming messages, and execute game-specific functions. The beta is only available for iPhone and iPod Touch users, but Android and tablet-specific flavors are in the works.

Roccat is also developing complementary hardware. The Phobo keyboard replaces the traditional numpad with a smartphone dock, while the Apuri 2.0 appears to be little more than a bare docking station. Both devices are expected to be available early next year, so they're far from imminent.

Power-Grid reminds me a little of Razer's Switchblade UI, which is only available on the company's gaming notebook and one rather expensive keyboard. Since Power-Grid is free and compatible with any PC, I suspect it'll attract more attention. There is one catch, though. While the initial app and four "start-up tabs" are free, users will have to shell out to unlock additional tabs.

   
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