Whirlwind FX’s Element Extends the Game into the Keyboard

Mechanical keyboards are popular among gamers for a number of practical reasons, such as being more durable than ordinary keyboards and the ability to effectively press more keys simultaneously. A less practical but aesthetic trend that’s gaining popularity is keyboards featuring RGB lighting. This feature doesn’t necessarily enhance a keyboard’s quality but can give a little extra for the gaming environment. Whirlwind FX is introducing their new mechanical keyboard with RGB lighting called the Element, but this particular keyboard is the next step in RGB keyboard lighting.

Typical RGB keyboards have several lighting profiles but they generally do not react to the gaming experience. Element is designed to make its lighting part of the game by reacting to on screen events. The dynamic lighting systems recognizes in-game events and provides bursts of color to coincide with the action, such as explosions or shield activation. One of the more interesting examples we observed with this keyboard was having the keyboard flash red when damage was taken or provide a lighting pattern like a pulse when the character was in a state of low health.

Element achieves this lighting feat by using game extensions that allow for content-reactive customizable illumination in any game with the patented Experience Engine (EX) technology. Element’s content reactive design can be used with any game. The custom light patterns can be used on every game but Whirlwind FX does make game extensions for specific titles and has plans in the coming months to release extensions for the fifty most widely-played games. Projecting further into the future, these extensions are going to be continuously developed and designed to build on themselves in order to continuously create improved and more immersive integration within each game. The Element has two types of lighting effects that can be used in customizing the RGB profiles. There are idle effects, which are rendered without audio playback, and media effects that are involved with audio and video effect. Idle effects are more traditional and still customizable and the media effects delve deeper into the Element’s analytics system and can sample screen portions to create intelligent ambient effects based on audio and visual parameters.

Playing with the Element during a demo session confirmed that this is a viable option for people looking for a good mechanical keyboard. Each key has that satisfying sound that comes with every keystroke that you just don’t get with the non-mechanical variety and the solid construction can be felt, knowing that this can stand up to countless hours of gaming. Even without the unique RGB lighting the Element is a good choice in gaming keyboards. To show off the lighting capabilities the booth had several Elements set up, each one running a custom light pattern to show the customizable nature of the RGB lighting. What really sells the lighting scheme is how it reacts to the action on screen. Having the keyboard lights react to in-game events doesn’t offer any practical advantage but did add to the immersion and just a cool effect in general.

The Whirlwind FX element is currently available from their website and there are a few guides floating around the internet to help build the ideal light show. The custom and reactive lighting in an interesting take on RGB keyboard lighting and does set this apart from some of the other keyboards with lighting, plus it’s cool to see the keyboard at your fingertips light up in response to in-game actions. More importantly, the Element is a high quality mechanical keyboard, so no sacrifices were made where it matters to bring the light show to your fingertips.