Holographic anime 'virtual wives' on sale in Japan

A Japanese company is releasing a new smart home device that serves as a "virtual wife" for lonely men.

Vinclu's Gatebox is being targeted at single young men and features a female holographic anime character that talks, texts and performs basic household tasks.

The device won't be on the market until late 2017 but Vinclu is taking pre-orders from Japan and the US.

Gatebox is priced at ¥321,840 (around NZ$3920) and its primary feature is a clear projection tube that displays a computer-animated avatar for its character.

Vinclu is planning multiple personalities for the device, the first of which is Azuma Hikari, voiced by actress Yuka Hiyamizu.

The company describes Hikari as "a comforting female character that is great to those living alone" who will "always do all she can just for the owner".

Hikari has her own website set up already, which is why she "decided to participate in the homestay in another dimension".

In addition to providing them companionship, Hikari will wake her owner up as an alarm clock, advise them on the day's weather and control some home devices such as lights and air conditioning.