What’s going on in the world of mobile technology at Comic-Con 2013 in New York City? We wanted to find out.
First off, Thursday night Fincon threw a party celebrating the launch of their new free-to-play mobile role playing game called “Hello Hero“. This will soon be available on iOS, Android, and Facebook with cross-platform multiplayer capabilities, hundreds of hero characters, multiple game play modes, great 3D graphics and even community boss battles.
On the show floor, we found plenty of fun mobile tablet stuff as well. At the Wacom booth I really wanted to try out the new Bluetooth pen that they made for iPads. It gathers its own pressure sensitivity data within the pen and then communicates that to certain drawing apps via Bluetooth. It’s a huge departure from Wacom’s normal electromagnetic digitizer built into the screen of their high end Cintiq products. Really it’s kind of a hack built for the iPad and unfortunately it didn’t even work at Comic Con.
On the other hand, behind that, Wacom was also showing their new Cintiq Companion Windows 8 tablet which worked beautifully! The Cintiq Companion they had there was running a Core i7 processor with Windows 8 and the full Adobe Creative Cloud software suite. It also had 8Gb of RAM for all of those high-end programs. This tablet is similar to the Surface Pro in that it has a pressure sensitive electromagnetic digitizer from Wacom built into the screen, but Wacom’s version is much more accurate, supports twice as many pressure levels, and even support stylus tilt sensitivity. Stylus tilt input is important for applications like Corel Painter which can simulate natural media such as directional air brushes. The tablet is quite a bit larger than others, but that’s a good thing because it gives you a good area to work with. You’ve also got customizable shortcut keys on the side. You can program those for things like controlling brush size or accessing modifier keys.
Of course you can plug in a larger monitor as well, and the tablet comes with a detachable plastic stand and a nice soft case with pockets for the stand, the stylus box, the tablet, and a wireless Bluetooth keyboard. Overall, this Wacom Cintiq Companion really looks like the mobile tablet for any kind of digital artist, especially comic book artists.
Another game being shown off at Comic Con was Pig Fish. This is a new game for iOS and Android which seems to have very simple one-touch controls where you basically make a pig fish swim through sewers to collect power ups.
There was a Verizon booth at Comic Con as well. Their most popular product there was the Sphero. The Sphero is a remote control ball that changes colors and rolls around, but you control it from a tablet app. I thought this would be interesting to see, but the Android app just would not work while I was there.
There were also a few “motion comic” apps at Comic Con. One was essentially a comic book converted into something like a movie where the still images move around the screen with occasional animation as well as a voice over for the dialog. Another called Comixology doesn’t have the audio, but works with a wider range of comic books. For most it simply animates to the next frame or scene, but some comics were reprogrammed so that speech bubble appear as layers in the order that you should read them.
We also found a new social networking app called Brabble which allows you to post videos and audio messages, but people can also comment with video or audio replies.
Intel had a huge booth filled with Intel powered tablets and PCs for people to play games one. Many were touch screen tablets running Windows 8 with a few Android powered tablets as well.
Overall, tablets certainly seem to be the direction for mobile technology these days even in the comics books scene.