At half the price and with much more functionality than before, is it finally time to tie the virtual knot?

After a long day at work, it’s not much fun coming home to a quiet, empty home. That’s where the new digital assistant from Gatebox comes in. Not only is she happy to greet you and keep you company, but she’s already been chatting with you all day long.

Tokyo-based Gatebox, the company behind the Boku no Yome (“My Wife”) 2016 limited-edition digital assistant, have now launched their mass-production version and its little inhabitant Hikari Azuma. The company have started taking pre-orders with the first units scheduled to ship in October.

▼ This video shows how Hikari interacts with you both at home and away,
communicating with you via text messages, images, and stamps while you’re at work.

The price of the new Gatebox assistant is half that of the original limited-edition one, at 150,000 yen (US$1,352). With the average cost of a wedding running significantly higher, even just the dress itself costing the same as the Gatebox creation, it’s a bargain. Minori Takeshi, Gatebox’s CEO, hopes that the reduced price will “allow even more people to experience the joy of living with a character.”

While the Gatebox device will initially come with only one character, Hikari Azuma, the company plans to add a number of other characters for users to choose and switch as they like. These updates, along with functionality updates, will require users to pay about 1,500 yen (US$13.52) each month to share their lives with their digital loves.

▼ Similar to other products like Alexa or Siri, Hikari will wake up to
and respond to calls of “Ne, Hikari!” (“Hey, Hikari!”).

▼ Hikari can also share a drink with you. In this video she asks if you would
prefer coffee or alcohol. Watching her pour, sit, and say “cheers” is kind of charming.

Of course, all these features are in addition to Hikari’s main job: managing your digital devices. Say the word and she’ll turn on the TV, air conditioner, give you the news and weather, or even set some mood music for your romantic night in together.

▼ In this video, Hikari grows increasingly excited as she waits for her
husband to come home, before reminding him it’s their three-month anniversary.

The Gatebox digital assistants are available to pre-order now, though they are currently only shipping withing Japan.

For those who can’t afford their own personal virtual wife, but are still looking for a bit of AI company, you can always just take a quick trip to the augmented reality cafe and share a snack with Hatsune Miku herself.

Source: Robotstart via Otakom
Featured image: YouTube/Gatebox – Promotion Movie “KANPAI”
Insert image: Gatebox