We know you’ve thought about it. About what your life’d be like if you had a waifu waiting at home.
That dream’s a reality for some… if they’ve got enough cash, and complete their pre-order in time. Gatebox is a new AI system (‘virtual home robot’). A kawaii one, so we think you’re gonna like this.
The tidiest, friendliest housemate ever
So FYI, Gatebox is both the system and the company that makes it. Hope that’s not too confusing. They changed their name to match the product after it started selling.
The Gatebox ‘live with characters’ concept is about sharing space with a holographic package of moe-moe helpfulness. Share your life with someone who won’t bitch at you when you leave a sock on the floor.
Your new housemate’s Hikari Azuma. (Hikari – 光 – means light!) Born to give you the best welcome home you’ve ever had in your life. At 20, she’s a legal adult here in Japan – nice and safe.
She stands in the middle of what looks like a huge LED coffee machine. (Cannot unsee.)
The all-round 3D effect screen and image projection make it look like she’s really inside there. Don’t get too drunk and try and break her out, okay?
Thank designer and manga artist Taro Minoboshi for her cute looks – he’s also worked on Tokimeki Memorial and Love Plus. The voice actress for Hikari is Yuuka Hiyamizu. She’s done mostly game/app work before, so this is perfect.
Now, Hikari’s not the kind of roomie who’ll leave dirty dishes in the sink or hog the bathroom. But she’s definitely a roomie, as there’s a monthly ‘shared living expenses’ charge to have her around.
Share your independent laifu with a waifu
The Gatebox company knows exactly who they’re targeting with Hikari – watch the promo video:
But we get how comforting it feels to have someone around. The last Japan census showed nearly 1/3 of occupied homes only have 1 person living there. And humans get lonely.
You’ll feel noticed and appreciated by your Gatebox. Walk into the room and get close to the camera, and Hikari reacts with a huge smile and a happy greeting. Isn’t face recognition awesome?
While pushing Hikari as the waifu of your futuristic dreams, Gatebox wants you to stay hyped for others too. They’re planning to make more characters appear in the coffee maker some day. Maybe you’d prefer a husbando instead – watch this space.
Communicate like a real compatible couple
Gatebox is hooked up to the Internet of Things, so it can do a lot more than chat.
But chatting’s important to any good relationship – let’s start there. ‘Talk to’ Hikari with text messages when you’re away, or by saying stuff out loud at home. The 2 built-in mics pick up your speech, and your AI love replies, just like Google Home or Line Clova Friends.
As long as you’re speaking Japanese. For all the effort they’ve put into the English vids and details, Hikari doesn’t speak the language yet.
Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, and infrared links are built in, so Gatebox is constantly hooked up to the internet. Hikari can control the TV, play songs, and read you today’s breaking news.
She’ll happily do stuff without you there, if you want. Let’s say you text Hikari: “I’ll be there in 10 mins.” She’ll turn the lights on, set the aircon, and put on some mood music before you step through the front door.
As in the video clip above, she remembers your anniversary too. And your birthday.
The right partner’s worth their weight in yen
Gatebox went on limited pre-order in late 2017, at 150,000 yen plus tax. Ouch. But what price can you put on a waifu? Even if you made the waiting list, chances are you’d miss out on the full experience.
The English FAQ’s only 2 questions long. Both are pretty much ‘can I use this outside Japan?’… and the answer’s ‘nope’. You could use a Japanese proxy shopping site (like us) to get it shipped, but there’s no English setting, no global plug, and using Gatebox in any other country voids the warranty.
Until it’s on general sale worldwide, try some other ways to nab a waifu or husbando with DEJAPAN: