Feeling jealous of Tony Stark’s Jarvis? Soon, you may have a hologram assistant of your own!
Established in 2014, Japanese startup vinclu Inc. is still quite young, but they’re certainly ambitious — the company just released a concept video for their hologram assistant, Gatebox, interacting with a young businessman.
It’s not quite the Holodeck from Star Trek but it could be pretty cool!
Azuma Hikari, the character in the Gatebox, will talk to users, waking them up in the morning and greeting them when they come home at night. Gatebox is also designed to connect to Internet of Things (IoT) devices in your house, so you can control everything from you high-tech bath to your TV just by talking to Azuma. She can also connect to the Internet and let you know stuff like how the weather is.
The hologram device will also apparently have sensors so it can better communicate with you — and it looks like vinclu is setting up some server-side technology to handle artificial intelligence as well. Fortunately, even if Gatebox or Azuma become fully sentient and decide to murder you in your sleep, the worst they could do cause your bathtub to overflow.
▼ Unless your oven is also connected, we suppose…
Nevertheless, Gatebox probably won’t be something you buy to better control your IoT devices — Amazon’s Echo can already do that well enough, for example. The selling point for Gatebox looks to be the hologram display and the character that lives within it, which, we have to admit, could add a fun dynamic to what is basically a really nifty remote control. Of course, unlike a remote control, Azuma will actually have a personality of sorts.
You can’t buy Gatebox yet, but it looks like the company is planning to offer them via crowdfunding preorders later this year. However, they’ve already launched another product, called Ayatori, which is a glowing device you plug into your smartphone. The device is intended to enable communication by searching for people in your vicinity who also have an Ayatori plugged in and sharing your common interests — it’s basically a way to digitize and outsource small-talk to your iPhone. It also has a kind of party mode that is apparently meant for events like music performances as well as a “pair” mode for couples.
You can buy an Ayatori from DMM for 1,480 yen (about US$12.70), though we’re not sure how many matches you’ll be able to find right now. We haven’t seen any in the wild yet…
But if you’d prefer your holograms to be less talkative and more on fire, maybe this Dragon Ball figure is more what you’re looking for!