Jan 08, 2018 Written by: Geoff_Gasior

The Aura ecosystem expands into your environment with reactive ambient lighting and more

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The rise of RGB lighting has vastly expanded the scope of cosmetic customization available on the PC. You’re free to select any color you want, add flavor with a range of different effects, and change things up with just a few clicks. Those basics are covered by pretty much every product with RGB LEDs, but we’re not content with the status quo. We continue to enhance the Aura portfolio with new hardware and software that take lighting to the next level.
For CES 2018, ROG is introducing two RGB products: the Aura Terminal extends system lighting into your environment and can synchronize colors with in-game action, while the ROG Spotlight projects our logo onto the wall of your gaming room. We’re also highlighting how AIDA64, Tobii, and Cooler Master are using the Aura SDK to harness our lighting with their own software.

Add illuminated ambiance with the Aura Terminal

While Aura Sync synchronizes lighting for a complete ecosystem of components, the ROG Aura Terminal takes it outside the PC and into your environment. This external controller box plugs in via USB, ensuring broad compatibility with desktops and laptops alike. A backlit ROG logo highlights the case, and there are four headers for addressable lighting devices like RGB strips. Each header can control 30 LEDs independently, allowing fully loaded configs to power 120 individual lights. That's enough capacity to spread synchronized colors and effects across your entire battlestation. You can also use the Aura Terminal to add addressable RGB parts to older systems that lack the necessary motherboard header to support them natively.

Perhaps the most compelling application for the Aura Terminal involves matching ambient lighting with on-screen gaming. Dubbed Halo, this effect uses four addressable RGB strips affixed to the back edges of your monitor. Special software detects colors displayed along the edges of the screen and changes the LEDs to match, creating a dynamic glow that reaches far beyond the boundaries of your monitor. The reactive lighting enhances immersion, especially in colorful games like Overwatch, elevating the Aura Terminal above conventional RGB controllers.

Put Aura Sync in the spotlight

Continuing the theme of spreading RGB lighting into your gaming room, the new ROG Spotlight projects our iconic logo onto your wall. You can choose from a full palette of colors or coordinate the projection with other Aura Sync hardware for a harmonious overall look.

The matte black body keeps the focus on the lighting. Its aluminum construction helps dissipate heat, and its magnetic base easily attaches to metal surfaces like the walls of most chassis. No matter how the Spotlight is positioned, 360° lens adjustment ensures you can orient the logo right side up.

The Aura SDK spawns varied projects

At Computex last year, we opened up Aura lighting to third-party developers with an official SDK. Multiple partners are using the developer kit already, including AIDA64, Tobii, and Cooler Master, and we’re excited to reveal some of what they’ve been working on.
RGB lighting is largely used for cosmetic effects, but AIDA64 takes a more functional approach. The popular system utility is now capable of displaying crucial stats like temperatures, frequencies, and fan speeds using Aura lighting on our keyboards and mice. You can bind temperature sensors to different keys and customize how colors change in response. Numerical stats like clock speeds can also be displayed by lighting up the appropriate keys to spell them out. These capabilities make it easy to keep tabs on vital system variables without relying on software overlays that consume precious screen real estate. More functionality is coming this year, but you can try what’s already available in the latest AIDA64 beta.
Tobii is using the Aura SDK to augment its eye-tracking tech. One of the company’s demos now uses keyboard lighting to follow your gaze, providing visual cues for what the eye tracker detects. The demo also lights up the keyboard with different colors depending on what you’re looking at; allies trigger a green glow, while enemies radiate red. Tobii didn’t take too long to implement Aura support in its software, and we’re excited to see what continued development brings.
Just about every PC hardware maker uses a different application to control RGB LEDs, forcing many users to manage their system lighting with multiple utilities. Our Aura SDK sets the stage for improved interoperability by granting access to any application that asks. Cooler Master has already integrated Aura support into a version of its MasterPlus+ software, and you can see it in action powering a custom build at CES 2018. Visit Cooler Master at the show to see how the Aura SDK is enabling easier cross-vendor lighting control.

We announced loads of new ROG gear at CES 2018. To read about all of the newest toys coming to the Republic of Gamers, head on over to this article.

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