Tomorrow's Miley Cyrus? A hologram live in concert!
Hatsune Miku is a Japanese singing sensation. Even though she has no flesh, blood, or racy private life. For Miku is a hologram.
Do you get slightly disturbed when you go to see your favorite performer live in concert and, because of your keen sense of visual synchronization, you see that they are miming?
Well, brush off your negative last-century attitude and get with the program.
In the case of Japanese singing star Hatsune Miku, the program in question is Yamaha's Vocaloid Synthesizing Technology. Oh, there's a real person's voice somewhere at the heart of it. But who needs real people when you can have a hologram that will never be photographed snorting coke in a bathroom stall, never sleeps with unsuitably older men, and, most importantly, never talks back to her record company?
As you will see from the videos I have embedded, Miku is not entirely real. Not at all, in fact. She's a hologram. Singularity Hub tells me she's the invention of a no-doubt fascinating organization called Crypton Future Media.
Real singers are reportedly not overly excited about lending their voices to this sort of venture. Which some might find strange, given how so many are terribly excited about lending their voices to Auto-Tune.
So, Singularity Hub says that the base voice for Miku's performances comes from a cartoon voice actor.
Miku appears to be playing to ever-larger audiences. These audiences seem to get frightfully excited about a hologram who wears short skirts and suspenders and offers a sort of peculiar high-school coquettishness that some might find faintly disturbing.
One wonders if, very soon, Miley Cyrus will decide that it's a bit of a chore to do a tour, so she will hold simultaneous concerts in 40 cities worldwide, at each of which her Crypton Future Media hologram will perform.
Perhaps, in a fit of marketing magic, the promoters will announce that at one venue Cyrus will be there for real. But they will keep the identity of that venue a secret. The fascination, naturally, will lie in whether anyone manages to guess which venue that actually was.