Gaming peripherals specialist Razer is using CES to showcase two unique new concepts. Razer Chroma adds coordinated room lighting PC games. And Project Valerie shows how laptops could be expanded to offer multi-screen display.
Razer Chroma is claimed to be "the largest RGB platform for gaming, with more than 5 million devices sold to date." Razer reports that Chroma lighting is now supported by major game titles including Overwatch, from Blizzard, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, from Activision, and Shadow Warrior 2, from Devolver Digital.
There's also a growing number of hardware partners working to implement Razer Chroma in "immersive gaming solutions." These include Lenovo, NZXT, Antec, Lian Li and Nanoleaf. Razer notes that Razer Chroma is accessible to partners via the Razer Chroma Module, a combined hardware and software API (application program interface).
This year, Razer is expanding Chroma with the new Project Ariana. By communicating with a game in realtime through Chroma, Ariana uses a high-definition video projector and fisheye lens to display room-scale visual effects. A pair of 3D depth-sensing cameras allows Ariana to callibrate itself and detect furniture and room lighting, in order to optimize the effect.
"Project Ariana is a concept design that showcases the power and potential of the Razer Chroma platform... in bridging the gap between gamers and games," said Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. "Video projection, multi-color lighting and the responsive intelligence of our Razer Chroma engine are changing the way we game today. We and our publishing and technology partners are working toward new visual solution for an even more incredible and visually rich tomorrow."
Razer's Project Valerie is a demonstration of how multi-monitor capability could be added to an otherwise conventional laptop. Razer is showing off a prototype based on its own Razer Blade Pro laptop, equipped with three monitors. All three displays are 17.3-inch 4K IGZO types, supporting 100% Adobe RGB color gamut, and powered by Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics with Nvidia G-Sync variable refresh rate support.
Using Razer's automatic deployment system, the two side displays slide out of the side of the main screen and adjust into place. According to Razer, this results in "a clean gaming and working environment."
"Multi-monitor desktop set-ups are becoming more necessary for professionals, creators, and gamers," said Min-Liang Tan. "For the first time, we've engineered a solution that users can take with them. Project Valerie promises all of the functionality of three screens and none of the hassle."
The prototype features an aluminum chassis, measures 1.5 inches thick and weighs less than 12 lbs, not including a compact AC adapter. A custom fan and "dynamic heat exchangers" work with a "vapor chamber" to cool the unit. The keyboard uses Razer's Ultra-Low-Profile Mechanical switches, which are said to mimic the feel of full-size mechanical keyboards. Razer Chroma support is also included.
As yet, no release date has been announced for a commercial version. Still, as display panels become cheaper, lighter and thinner, Project Valerie seems increasingly likely to become a viable direction for portable computing. More information is available on the Razer site.