Ah, so this is why humanity developed smart speaker technology.

If I’m being totally honest, I’m not all that intrigued by smart speakers such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. It probably has something to do with my job requiring me to do Internet research on topics such as “sexy anime girl leftover bathwater drink” and “kimono boobs,” but in general I prefer to go with written correspondence between my machines and me, as opposed to saying those search terms out loud for anyone in earshot to hear.

And yet, suddenly I totally see the appeal of smart speaker technology, because it’s going to allow us to have conversations with Pikachu.

On November 1 The Pokémon Company announced that it’s developing a smart speaker app called Pikachu Talk which will let users of Alexa, Google Home, and Google Home Mini engage in friendly chats with the most famous Pocket Monster of them all. The designers are billing the app as something that fans of all ages, from children to adults, can enjoy.

Of course, as with the majority of Pokémon, Pikachu’s vocabulary is limited to the sound components of his name, so there’s probably going to be a limit to how in-depth you and your electric-type pal can discuss matters such as politics, the economy, or philosophy. But as Pikachu’s voice actress, Ikue Otani, has talked about, each and every utterance of “pikaaa” or “pika pika” the character makes carries its own emotional weight and meaning, and the app’s developers are promising a wide range of verbal reactions. So if nothing else, it seems like Pikachu should be able to give you an excited “Pika!”when you enthusiastically reveal “I’m having pizza-flavored ramen for dinner tonight!”

Pikachu Talk is scheduled to start service within the year in Japan, with an overseas launch planned for 2018. Oh, and don’t bother throwing money at your screen, because the app is going to be absolutely free.

Source: The Pokémon Company via IT Media
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Insert image: The Pokémon Company

Follow Casey on Twitter, where, since it’s already loaded with Ikue Otani’s voice, he’s wondering if Pikachu Talk can be modded into Merle Talk.