If you’ve ever seen anything science fiction-related, you’ve definitely seen a main character communicate with a hologram before. Sometimes they’re used to communicate with a real human like in Star Wars or Star Trek but other times the hologram IS the character, as is the case with Cortana from the Halo series or Gennai from Digimon Adventure. For decades, we saw this hologram projection technology as something from the distant future and thought it would be unachievable within our lifetimes.
However, companies like Apple and Amazon have gotten very close to delivering on the digital assistant front, with the creation of Siri and Alexa respectively. Both feature highly competent AI capable of speaking back and forth with a real person but neither of them possess a visible form. Enter Gatebox, the first digital assistant to include a human-like projection… Her name is Azuma Hikari and she’s… not exactly as realistic as you might expect.
Take a look for yourself.
So, Gatebox is essentially an anime girl brought to life and by “brought to life” I don’t just mean that she’ll pull up search results and play music for you. No, when I say “brought to life” I mean that Hikari has actual emotions, she’ll text you asking when you’re getting home, welcome you home by turning the lights on for you, and react to the movies and tv shows you watch the way a real human being would. It’s kind of cool but I could also see this ending up like a certain episode of Gravity Falls. Japanese men are sure to get quite a bit of enjoyment from their Gateboxes but, unfortunately, there’s currently no way for Hikari to communicate in English. Gatebox is currently up for pre-order for 298,000 yen (about $2,525 US Dollars) and will ship in December of 2017 but, if you want one, you’ll need to act fast because only around 300 or so Gateboxes are being shipped.
What a strange world we live in!