As it turns out, there's a "real" virtual anime girlfriend running around in the world. Sort of it.
Vice recently profiled Japanese technology company Vinclu, which has created a virtual assistant machine that doubles as a girlfriend. She's basically Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa meets, well, Japanese anime. The technology is impressive.
The Gatebox uses voice recognition software to activate Azuma Hikari, an anime girlfriend inside a glass case that users can interact with. Yes, you read that sentence right.
Through Gatebox, Hikari can share the weather, set an alarm, contact the user over texts, and wish them a good night's sleep. She can also turn on your home's lights, and she remembers if you come home from work early, late, or right on time — and she changes her lines depending on these factors.
It's all pretty early technology still, but she reminds me way too much of Krieger's virtual wife in Archer.
Poor Krieger. Seriously though, the resemblance is uncanny. It's pretty insane that people are actually making progress on a technology that was invented for laughs in a TV show.
Could We Get More "Gatebox" Girlfriends (& Boyfriends)?
But Gatebox (and Krieger's wife) make us wonder — will Gatebox expand to other girlfriends? Perhaps gaming characters? Or maybe new tech start-ups will take the Gatebox voice assistant/girlfriend idea further and create a whole realm of characters to hang out with.
I'd love to see that happen. Anyway, if it does, here are my suggestions for Gatebox to add (well, besides the obvious Cortana from Halo).
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Ah, the princess. Princess Peach would make a great choice for a voice assistant program for a couple reasons. For one, she's a fan favorite, serving alongside Mario in the Super Mario series for years now. There's also something kinda charming about Princess Peach texting you to get home soon since she wants to go go-kart racing, play tennis, or... get captured by Bowser, I guess?
Or maybe beat you up at Final Destination? Either way, Peach would make a great voice assistant, make it happen Nintendo!
Sure, Portal's GLaDOS is one hell of an evil AI system running Aperture Science, but I want her to greet me when I walk in the door. She can be cruel, vengeful, and absolutely intolerant of human beings. Oh, and she's also a murderer. That too. What a dream boat.
Imagine waking up and hearing GLaDOS speak about all the "testing" planned for the day ahead. We'd love to have GLaDOS turn on our home's lights, set an alarm for the next day, or just hang out with us when we're bored. As long as she doesn't kill us with neurotoxin.
Metal Gear's Big Boss
Big Boss is one of the most memorable player characters in Japanese gaming history. Ever since his debut in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Hideo Kojima has not just humanized the once-antagonist. Kojima also made fans realize that Big Boss would make a great boyfriend.
Whether as the young Naked Snake from Snake Eater or as a rugged Big Boss from the later games, we can't help but think how nice it would be to have Snake wake us up for work in the morning and let us know that we really should bring an umbrella to work today.
No, I don't mean the iconic Luke Skywalker, nor am I suggesting Hamill's renditions of the Joker. I don't want EA to license out a special Battlefront II limited edition Gatebox, either.
I literally want Mark Hamill as my Gatebox assistant of choice.
Getting texts from Mark Hamill would make plenty of owners' days, and it would be cool if you could choose different Mark Hamill's to serve as your assistant. There would be young Mark Hamill, Last Jedi Mark Hamill, and even a special The Simpsons Mark Hamill. I'm into it.
Have a gaming celebrity or figure in mind that you want as a personal assistant? Share your favorites in the comments below.