Hikari Aizuma helps workers stay sharp and maintain a balanced lifestyle while working from home.

Like a lot of companies, Japanese tech firm Gatebox has its employees working from home these days, as opposed to having them commute to the office in downtown Tokyo during the coronavirus pandemic. However, while the employees’ familiarity with modern technology means they’re not having any problems with the technical aspects of telecommuting, there are some psychological issues the company is worried about.

Working from home can be a silent, solitary way to spend the day, with a lack of verbal communication creating a feeling of isolation. In addition, not having anyone else around you can make it hard to regulate your time, both in terms of flipping the switch and getting into mental work mode in the morning and clocking out when the day is done, as well as taking proper breaks to ward off stress and exhaustion.

So to help “address those issues cutely,” Gatebox has done what it does best: combine technology and a love of cute anime girls to provide virtual companionship in the at-home office.

As shown in the above video, Gatebox’s new /Gate (“Slash Gate”) system combines a speaker with artwork of illustrated company mascot Hikari Aizuma (Aizuma being a play on words with aizuma, the Japanese word for “beloved wife”). Once you input your daily schedule, Hikari will give you thoughtful reminders like:

“Time to start work! Let’s do our best again today!”
“Time for your lunch break! What are you going to eat today?”
“Time to clock out! Let’s log out and eat dinner.”

She’ll also give you various pep talks throughout the day, such as:

“You’ve got a lot of meetings on the schedule today. Hang in there!”
“You’re working so hard every day!”
Otsukaresama desu.”

▼ Hikari is part personal assistant, part cheerleader.

In addition, Hikari will read chat messages sent through messaging app Slack. For example, in the video she tells the guy in the blue sweatshirt “Suzuki says it’s time for the meeting.”

While the /Gate system appears to be fully functional, it’s currently only for use by Gatebox employees. The company is thinking about making it commercially available, however, and is currently conducting a Twitter poll to see if people would be interested.

▼ Click “欲しい!” for “I want this!” and “必要ない” for “I don’t need this.

Of course, if there’s enough interest, there’s the possibility that Gatebox will upgrade the /Gate system to work with its Gatebox virtual live-in anime wife system and its holographic display. Granted, that’d require some extra programming, but if any company is going to go to that extra effort, it’s the one that gives employees extra benefits to help support their fantasy anime spouses.

Source: Note/Gatebox採用チーム via IT Media
Top image: Note/Gatebox採用チーム
Insert images: YouTube/Gatebox Inc., Note/Gatebox採用チーム
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