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?