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Lonely? You Can Now Live With a Holographic Anime Friend

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Here’s a Japanese twist on the typical smart home device: a holographic anime-style character that responds to its user’s conversations and text messages.

The use of holographic robots is not a new concept in Japan. In fact, humanoid personas such as Hatsune Miku have existed in Japanese society for almost a decade now.

But since the early technology was expensive, its use was limited to huge productions like concerts and scripted shows. It is only now that it is made possible to utilize the technology for personal use, RocketNews24 reported.

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Japanese tech firm Vinclu Inc. has recently developed Gatebox, a portable hologram machine that produces an interactive 3D virtual character that not only keeps its users’ company but also delivers many practical uses as it is built specially for smart homes.

Aside from having the ability to interact with its users, the virtual character named Azumi Hikari is able to connect wirelessly to different home devices.

Like similar smart home devices produced earlier this year, Azumi can connect to TVs, computers, robot cleaners, and lights, among other smart devices. Azumi’s only limitation, at the moment, is that she is only able to communicate in Japanese.

Here’s a look at how users can interact with Azumi, and how she responds back:

Priced at 321,840 yen ($2,800), Gatebox is now available for pre-order until January 31, 2017 for Japanese and U.S.customers.  

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