Technology is doing great wonders, especially in first-world countries. But none can be more advanced when it comes to developing something out of the ordinary in Japan.
The country has recently introduced a new smart home device called Gatebox featuring a female hologram that is designed to be a virtual wife.
A hologram is a physical structure that diffracts light into an image. The term hologram can refer to both the encoded material and the resulting image.
A holographic image can be seen by looking into an illuminated holographic print or by shining a laser through a hologram and projecting the image onto a screen.
The virtual wife would be one solution to the increasing number of divorce or husband-wife arguments not only in Japan but all over the world, point out some critics.
The virtual wife is named as Azuma Hikari and she can give weather updates to her user-husband, turn on lights, and a lot more that real wives normally do at home. Azuma also acts as a virtual companion that eats and relaxes with the user, reports the Business Insider.
Addressing social isolation
Japan is a country which is now experiencing declining population because the population is getting older and the control measure imposed decades back is now taking effect.
Apparently, the hologram wife is being marketed to single men living alone in Japan to address social isolation, which is also becoming a nagging problem in the country.
The trial version of the virtual wife has just been introduced last month and it is expected to make it to the market this year with a likely cost of £2,000 or about US$2,500.
Incidentally, the concept is getting mixed reviews online with some Facebook users questioning why the hologram has to be a little girl and others saying that it is not a solution at all to Japan’s social isolation problem.
The virtual wife is a product of Japanese technology firm Vinclu, Inc. The product comes through a Gatebox that would pave the way for the entry into the home of Azuma Hikari as a companion minus the personal touch of a real wife.
The Gatebox is a small transparent cylinder equipped with microphones, speakers, and a tiny holographic female character who speaks in a high-pitched, infantile voice.
While Vinclu is marketing the device as a home assistant similar to Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri or Microsoft Cortana, many sources and insiders have already revealed of a creepier conclusion for Azuma Hikari, which is a virtual companion or wife.
She loves donuts
Incidentally, Azuma loves donuts and Vinclu claims that she can grant the dream of closing the distance between the user and herself depending on the user’s translation, notes Mysterious Universe.
Vinclu designed the character in order to be a companion for people, or to put it rather directly, men who live alone. Azuma Hikari will deliver comforting messages throughout the day and is designed to provide emotional support too.
According to reports, Vinclu has so far produced only 300 units of the Gatebox and that they are now available for preorder on the Gatebox website.
The Gatebox is another development in a recent string of Japanese Artificial Intelligence (AI) products designed to replace or simulate the human interaction.
Earlier last year, another Japanese firm released a smartphone app which allows dying or elderly users to record images and videos of themselves which are geo-tagged to specific locations.
Other users can then visit these locations to interact with their deceased loved ones after they die.
Just recently, Japan’s favorite AI schoolgirl construct went on an online bender of leaving angry or depressed messages on her Twitter page, sparking some to fear she might even commit suicide or whatever the AI equivalent would be.