2/24/2005

Will there Ever be a Demand for This???

Artificial Life Inc. of Hong Kong has created a virtual girlfriend named Vivienne who goes wherever you go. They say she likes to be taken to movies and bars, enjoys getting flowers and chocolates, and you can even marry her in a virtual ceremony and get a virtual mother-in-law. She may sound like a mixed blessing, but nonetheless, she is a concept that cellphone system operators and handset manufacturers are starting to embrace.

Vivienne is at the leading edge of a wave of services that companies are developing to take advantage of the much faster data transmission rates made possible by 3G technology. These include the ability to download everything from high-resolution television news broadcasts to music videos to trailers of the latest movie releases.

Artificial Life’s company’s creative content editor, Mary Anna Donaldson, says she hopes they think of Vivienne as a companion and will see her as a practice round before the real one. They also say that in order to prevent anyone from becoming addicted to Vivienne’s charms, the program will limit users to an hour of play time a day. Artificial Life is also looking at creating a virtual boyfriend for women, virtual boyfriend for gay men, and a virtual girlfriend for lesbians. Do you think singles will start demanding these services or will it be a flop?

4 comments:

June said...

There probably will be a demand for this strange product. It is alot like the giga-pet that kids used to demand. If the demand does prove to be high other companies will probably enter the market. Then we will probably be overrun.

If there really is a demand, people need to turn off the electronics and actually start talking to REAL people. It does wonders for a person's social life.

Lana said...

Funny enough there will probably be a demand for this, but just as June mentioned...people are very dependent on their electronics, and are missing out on what human interaction can provide.

Drake said...

It seems so strange to have a product out there like this. At what point in life does someone decide they would rather have a programmed microchip interact with them rather than a human being. I guess it takes all kinds, but for myself I would steer clear of such nonsense. I beleive single life has much more to offer than virtual girl and boy friends no matter how lonely you are.

Dr. Tufte said...

I know this is twisted, but let's think about this like economists: if this product sells it means that there are people out there who prefer this to the real thing. I wouldn't have thought so, but there you are.

Of course, there may be a novelty effect to this as well. My wife and I had a "dogz" that lived on our Windows desktop for several months about 10 months ago (but we had two real ones too).

P.S. I hope this doesn't turn out someday like the X-Files episode where the tattoo of the pretty girl started telling the wearer what to do.