Scooch, Echo: creepy US-bound assistant traps a virtual girlfriend in a $2600 Gatebox

Scooch, Echo: creepy US-bound assistant traps a virtual girlfriend in a $2600 Gatebox
While voice-controlled virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana or Google Now never took off as the Silicon Valley giants hoped, Amazon struck a surprising gold with its household one, the Echo. It turned out that nobody wants to chat in public with their phone, but there are no such qualms within the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Amazon has so far sold more than 5 million of the Echo contraptions, and even issued a smaller, cheaper Dot version that may prove even more popular. This experiment proved a success, and, needless to say, all the big names soon followed suit with home-bound virtual butlers of their own. Google outed its Home gizmo, while Apple and Microsoft are rumored to be working on similar projects.

Leave it to Japan, however, to take the trend to a whole new level, twist it, and come out with something that may look creepy from an outsider perspective, but makes perfect sense in Japanese society. Yes, we are talking about a virtual girl... in a jar... that wakes you up, can't wait for you to come home, and is chatbot-ing your iPhone at every opportunity. 

The contraption looks like a coffee machine and is called the Gatebox, while the "home robot" is named Azuma Hikari. We'll leave the psychoanalysis for the specialists, but will just throw this video here, so that you can marvel at how advanced the society there is compared to our I-scored-my-girlfriend-drunk-in-a-bar routine. This genie in a bottle will be sold in Japan and in the US, and will cost $2600 when it starts shipping next year around this time, but you can preorder right now if you like what you see.


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11 Comments

1. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5485; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Reminds me of the movie Her, but even creepier.

2. kumarabhishek591

Posts: 150; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

Japnese never fail to amaze or perhaps creep?

3. TheHeartBreakKid

Posts: 102; Member since: Jul 07, 2015

Reminds me of the TV show Castle. :D

4. TheHeartBreakKid

Posts: 102; Member since: Jul 07, 2015

Just need to make it a bit less creepy n add a pinch of humour.

5. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1297; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Well if you're single, live alone and are lonely this is perfect for you lol.

10. Andr01d

Posts: 63; Member since: Mar 08, 2016

In other words, if you are japanese living in japan...

6. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

virtual girl that can actually talk to you and even send a massage? that must be Ritsu (from assassination classroom) sadly this one doesnt have live sized screen and built-in machine gun :-/

7. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

This is actually pretty sad... Anyway, can I get one thats a nagger when I come home? Complains about everything? Its cheaper than dating.

8. smooth4lyfe

Posts: 25; Member since: Mar 23, 2013

TBH...this is kind of cool

9. joseg81

Posts: 204; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

i'd buy it if it was cortana instead of a creepy lil girl.

11. jplightning

Posts: 312; Member since: Nov 04, 2016

I'm amazed and freaked out at the same damn time. Joint was kinda creepy. This cat looked so sad and lonely in the video. That said, I'd part with some cash to cop that.

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