The Android version of Razer Comms has mobilized the all-in-one communications peripheral for gamers with an Android app that allows in-game calls and messages to Android smartphones and tablets as well as vice versa.

 

The new features with the Android app include messaging and phone calls between PC gamers and their non-gaming brethren (or their gaming peers who are not currently in-game) while in-game. No alt-tabbing is required to access the features. Gone is the need to check nearby smartphones, and leaving a game is no longer required to reply to a phone call. The app is compatible with Android smartphones and tablets.

Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder, CEO, and creative director remarked, “Staying connected in today’s world has become increasingly important, and gamers are no exception to that. Razer Comms solves that by being the world’s first VoIP solution to allow gamers to make VoIP calls or instant message with their friends on the road from in-game and vice versa.”

An iOS app is tentatively scheduled for early 2014.

Razer Comms is free to download here.

 

Accessibility Angle:

For confused gamers, VoIP stands for “Voiceover IP” which is a voice and multimedia communication catch-all term for transmitting information via the Internet ranging from SMS (short message service, i.e. texting) to voice. Disabled gamers often use various disability related peripherals on top of the technology needed for gaming, and integrating a variety of electronic devices is often not a seamless experience.

The Razer Comms website outlines the specific features now supported by Android, which are 1ON1 Chat, Voice Chat, Groups & Channels as well as SMS Forwarding & Call Notification. The integration of Android smartphones and tablets into the gaming PC removes the need to switch between hardware, whether physically or by integrating multiple devices, which results in PC gaming that is more accessible for all disabled gamers.

For gamers with fine motor disabilities the integration removes the need to physically pick up and use a second device in order to respond to calls or SMS messages. For gamers with visual disabilities, the smaller screen of a smartphone or tablet often requires additional peripherals to properly view or hear via a screen reader, but the integration of Razer Comms presents the information on the larger PC monitor which is already set to the visually disabled gamer’s preferred settings. For deaf and hard of hearing gamers the visual notification on the screen removes the need to visually monitor a smartphone or tablet for messages while allowing disability related peripherals for voice communication to be connected to one machine, the PC. All disabled gamers are thereby quickly notified of their incoming voice or text message and can reply accordingly without leaving their keyboard while gaming.

 

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