Nothing sucks more than juggling windows while you're in the middle of a hot and heavy frag fest -- but sometimes, you just have to do it, whether to check an important message sent out-of-game or to tweak some aspect of your system. German peripheral maker Roccat wants to change that with its newly announced Power-Grid, a gaming-friendly smartphone app that will let you keep tabs on important PC happenings without ever needing to minimize BF3 on the big screen.
Power-Grid uses four screens -- "Grids," in Roccat parlance -- to convey all sorts of important info. The first screen, dubbed the "Incoming Center," gathers communications from Twitter, Facebook, TeamSpeak, Skype and more. The second "Stats Control" Grid displays information about your PC's status, such as your CPU utilization and network traffic. The "Sound Control" Grid does just about what you'd expect, and a fourth grid is left blank so that users can create a list of custom macros.
The PC client that connects your PC to the app is also used to create the custom macros, which Roccat calls "blocks." Roccat says the editor can also be used to create non-gaming blocks; the example given is "specialty buttons like a pizza timer."
Later in the year, Roccat plans on launching the "Project Phobo" keyboard, which includes a horizontal charge dock for Power-Grid-rocking phones. In addition to adding a Razer Blade-esque flair to things, the Phobo will allow users to type out responses to messages using the main keyboard -- no need to actually touch the phone -- and automatically route incoming calls to your gaming headset. Plus, it'll charge your phone while you frag. Not too shabby!
Unfortunately, you can't just hop over to the Android Market and snag Power-Grid just yet; Roccat's currently showing off the goods at the CeBIT expo in Germany and plans on releasing an iPhone/iPod touch (stupid lowercase letters!) version soon. An Android version will be available when Gamescom rolls around in August, while the Phobo keyboard is due "at the end of the year." On the plus side, Roccat says Power-Grid will be a free download. Check out more info here .