You may have not heard of the name before, but Roccat have been in the market for a few years now, manufacturing fairly "high end" gaming oriented products such as keyboards, mice, and headsets. Check out their website by clicking here.
In any case, Roccat have released some new images of their upcoming keyboard named "Project Phobo". The basic idea of the product is to dock your iPhone or power-grid enabled device (possibly Android compatible) into your keyboard, and use it as an extension of your PC and gaming experience.
Such features include,
- Charge your phone while on your PC
- The ability to route your phone calls to your computer's headset
- Directly reply to text messages by typing on your keyboard
- Display performance data on your phone's screen such as CPU & RAM usage, temperatures, voltages, etc
- Dynamic display of programs and games that you can instantly launch
- Programmable scripts and macros for games that you can dynamically modify on the fly
- Customizable home screen (the grid) with widgets, news, program shortcuts, and more
- Ability to manage TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, Skype, and other programs directly from your phone's screen
- Control media players (volume, play/pause, skip, etc)
- Much more
Project Phobo is essentially a Logitech G15 on steroids. You're given, virtually, an unlimited number of customization options to tailor to expeirience for any kind of user, whether they be hardware gaming enthusiasts, power PC users, or even casual users.
Of course, one major deal breaker is the fact that a touch screen will never give users the same kind of tactile feedback as standard keys or buttons can provide, especially since the very nature of programmable macros relies on the fact that users are able to mash the keys quickly while in the heat of battle without having to glance down at their keyboard. Perhaps the market will ignore this glaring issue in favour of drooling over all the potential uses of this keyboard.
One thing to note, however, is the fact that the keyboard itself, without a smart phone attached to it, really has nothing special about it. Looking at Roccat's other products, and the way that they're advertising this current keyboard, one can assume that they'll more than likely be charging a premium for the product -- Which, in reality, amounts to nothing more than a keyboard with a phone cradle punched into its plastic shell.
Glancing at the keyboard itself reveals a row of 5 keys on the outer most left side, which, more than likely, are a series of programmable macro keys. Below that, near the palm rest, there seems to be 3 small buttons, which again, are more than likely programmable macro keys or media control buttons (play/pause, etc).
On a purely hardware level, the Project Phobo keyboard doesn't really have much going for it aside from the phone dock, and, further from that, Roccat have yet to even confirm if the keys are mechanical... So, with all said and done, cautious optimism seems like the best option to go with until more info is released.
See more here: http://www.engadget....-pc-controls-t/