Holographic assistant brings us one step closer to AI butlers

A company from Japan is working on a fully holographic artificial intelligence assistant. It offers similar services to Amazon's Echo, but brings a new level of personality.

Gatebox

Mark Zuckerberg made headlines earlier this month when he said he hoped to build an artificial intelligence assistant that can help him around the house and at the office. He's not the only one though, with Japanese company Vinclu bringing personality to the AI game.

Its product, Gatebox, is set to be a device with similar functions to Amazon's Echo, but with one particular difference -- a fully realised holographic, interactive, AI personality contained within.

While it may not be as advanced as, say, Jarvis from the Iron Man movies, the Gatebox and the Azuma Hikari personality inside it have a host of features. Utilizing Internet of Things (IoT) technology, it can control your home's TV, air conditioning units, lights, email, music and, if you have one, the heating of your automatic bathtub.

The core concept behind the Gatebox is to break down the wall between us and the virtual world, blurring the line between the digital and reality. While we're still a ways from having androids in the home to cook and clean for us or having a real conversation with a virtual presence, this product proves it isn't so far off.

The Gatebox will also feature behaviour-learning technology, prompting it to take certain actions based on the user's habits. The company also says Azuma's personality will adapt to mesh with the user's.

Vinclu is working though the concept stages and has plans to launch pre-orders through a crowdfunding platform this year when the project gets underway in earnest.While the initial character set to be shipped with the product might be a little too "anime" for some, there are plans to provide alternative characters.

For a better idea of the product, check out this concept video. Just don't be freaked out by the odd, longing stares of the man and his Gatebox.

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