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A Japanese firm Gatebox is planning to replace the wife with a tiny holographic girl. Dubbed Aizuma Hikari, the holographic anime girl stands just a few inches tall insides of a cylindrical projector.
The company claims that the system is capable of communicating with its owners, called 'masters,' through speakers and even an app. Th firm said that the system is aimed at 'single men who live alone.' The system has just begun mass production for 150,000 yen (US$1,352).
The holographic character is 8-inches tall and talks to its master from behind a cylindrical plastic barrier. In addition to the purchase, owners will have to pay a subscription fee of 1,500 yen (US $13.52) every month to keep the character from getting outdated, which the firm says are 'living expenses'.
The system makes do with microphones, cameras, and sensors to detect temperature and motion. This allows her to interact with the owners 'on a more personal level.' The firm also assures that the character will 'always try her best to serve my husband.'
To pick up the speech of the master, the system uses a dual microphone. 'This will enable characters to communicate actively, for example smiling to masters when characters find them, welcoming home masters by automatic detection,' the firm says.
Additionally, it has a camera, tracking sensor, microphone, stereo speaker, temperature and humidity and light sensors. 'Hikari Azuma is a character with a comforting charm,' the firm says. 'Hikari Azuma will grow to be the user's ideal wife after further updates.'
Speaking of robots, Amazon seems to be working on domestic robots that will be launched in 2019, reports Bloomberg. The project is dubbed as Vesta, after the goddess of home and family in Roman mythology. The company will most likely begin testing the robots by the end of 2018 while targeting a 2019 launch.
Amazon has a robotics division that develops industrial machines that perform the automated work in its warehouses, but the new project is lead by Gregg Zehr, president of Amazon's Lab126. The lab is based in California and houses the hardware team that is responsible for the Echo and Fire line of products. It has also posted several robotics-related positions on the jobs page.