One of the more interesting PC accessories of the last few years was the now-infamous Optimus keyboard, which replaced every key with a tiny display that could be customized for games and software. At $1500, it was kind of a stretch. More recently, Razer’s Blade laptop and an unreleased keyboard have integrated a touchscreen and LCD keys, though also at a premium. But why haven’t we employed the high-resolution touchscreens we all carry around with us – our smartphones?
Roccat, a PC gaming brand that has been expanding into the states, has put together a free app that acts as a sort of window into your PC, letting you monitor your components, create custom key layouts for games, and more. It’s a geek dream.
They call it Power Grid. The smartphone app connects to a desktop client that hooks into Skype, Twitter, your PC’s basic stats like network throughput and drive space, and also lets you adjust stuff like audio and media playback. People who play games like WoW likely already have apps like this for calculating DPS, doing mapping, and so on. And serious power gamers will have their own separate displays for this kind of thing. But this looks pretty slick, and is apparently very versatile. And it’s also free.
Initially it will only be available for iOS, but they plan Android and Windows Phone 7 versions in the near future. The first version is being shown off at Cebit, and should be coming out later this month.
Free doesn’t make much money, though, so they’ll be selling accessories like this keyboard to pay the bills:
There will also be a special stand, though to be honest it seems like any dock will do. The data is sent over wi-fi, so it could be in your pocket for all that.
Unfortunately, the hardware won’t be out until late 2012. But the app will be out soon and that’s the important bit. We’ll give it a once-over as soon as it hits.