Sunday, March 11, 2012

Virtual Reality Becomes Reality

A friend posted a link to this Huffington Post article on a Japanese virtual pop star named Hatsune Miku. If you watch the video, you'll see in her “live” concerts she appears three-dimensional. She's also kind of a walking, singing Barbie doll, as far as her appearance—incredibly long legs and a tiny waist. She's not as well endowed as Barbie, because she is, after all, Japanese. Aside from the technology that produces her, the interesting thing is that her songs are, in effect, crowd sourced, written an refined by her fans.

According to her Wikipedia page, she's supposed to be sixteen. She even wears her virtual hair in long pigtails. In a lot of ways, she creeps me out. I write science fiction novels, but I'm queasy at the idea of the image of a teenage girl as a saleable object. It's tad like the camel's nose in Paolo Bacigalupi's Windup Girl tent.

But I can see why Crypton Future Media, the company that created her, would see her as a good investment. She'll never get old, never get fat, and never die of a drug overdose. They call her a "vocaloid," and I'm sure they don't pay her overtime.

Here's the video on one of her concerts if you want to watch her.

No comments:

Post a Comment