Electric partners poised to take over at office parties

04/01/2012
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Do you really know to whom you’re talking?
TOKYO (majirox news) –For Japanese men who are invited to a “couples” event by their superiors at work, but find themselves without a partner to accompany them, such occasions can prove to be a social embarrassment.

Modern technology has come to the aid of such men in the shape of a “robo-escort” but only if the lonely bachelors are well-heeled.

The fruit of many years’ research by a leading automobile manufacturer, the Denki-Gaaru will initially be available as a custom build only, with the price expected to start at a hefty 15 million yen for the basic model with a few options when sales begin later this year. Owners will be able to specify their preferences as to the physical appearance of the model, including facial type and body shape. Clothing will be extra, tailored individually to the needs and requirements of the owner.

“It may seem expensive,” says Hideki Usoda, leader of the product marketing team, “but our Denki-Gaaru really provides value for money. Even the basic model is capable of receiving a business card with the appropriate amount of deference, bowing correctly, standing around appearing to be interested in conversations with the owner’s superiors, and nodding and saying ‘Hai’ (yes) at intervals. With the optional Wi-Fi connection to the Meteorological Office, ‘she’ is also capable of making remarks about the weather.”

Certainly the model to whom I was introduced, who goes by the name of Honto Jenai in the laboratory where “she” was developed, seems to be capable of deceiving most men into believing in her reality – at least after they have imbibed a few drinks.

Fitted with an optional flirtation module, “she” patted my arm, made complimentary remarks about my appearance, and, using proprietary face-recognition technology to determine that I was not Japanese, asked me if I could eat with chopsticks and whether I could manage to eat raw fish. “We feel this is going to be a very popular option,” Usoda said. “Every salaryman’s boss likes to be flattered by his subordinates’ pretty wives, and we think this is a real career-builder for them.”

The next question to the engineers concerned the possible appearance of Jenai’s male counterpart. But Japan’s male-dominated society precludes the development of such a product, according to Usoda.

“The market would be too small and specialist,” he told me. “In any case, the few such women counterparts of our male customers have no need of something like this they are forceful and intelligent enough to do Denki-Gaaru’s job on their own.”

So if you’re at an office party, and your colleague’s attractive wife starts chatting to you, you may wish to look under the skin, and find out what makes her tick. Who knows? Perhaps you’re being fooled.

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