When Razer wanted to give PC gamers a touchscreen LCD display, it built one right in. When Roccat wanted to do the same, the company decided to leverage the power of the smartphone instead. At CeBIT 2012 in Germany, the peripheral manufacturer's showing off the Roccat Power Grid, an upcoming app that turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a trusty companion for your gaming PC. The app pulls messages from Facebook, Twitter, Skype, TeamSpeak and others into a unified chat client, helps you monitor your hardware in real time, independently controls audio settings for different applications, and even lets you build (and share) custom touchscreen icons for macros as well. You'll need a Wi-Fi connection to make it all work, though, which isn't necessarily standard-issue in gaming PCs... though as our commenters point out, it might only require the computer and smartphone be on the same local area network.
The app will be free at launch, and additional pages of macros will cost $0.99 cents each. There'll be an iOS beta soon, an Android version by GamesCom 2012 in August, and versions for tablet and Windows Phone by the end of the year. Roccat tells us it's even hoping to let you monitor and control your PC over a cellular connection, if it can figure out the security issues.
Of course, as a peripheral manufacturer, Roccat would love to sell you some hardware to go along with your app experience. The $129 Project Phobo keyboard integrates an iPhone dock that will not only charge the phone, but also let you reply to incoming messages just by typing on the mechanical keys, and you'll be able to answer phone calls with your plugged-in PC headset, too. There's also a standalone dock called the Project Apuri 2.0, if you're attached to your existing batch of keys: it should cost $79, and both peripherals should be available by the end of the year.