The email began like this:
I wanted to send this quick pitch through in case you were thinking about doing a piece on the Japanese Pop sensation, Hatsune Miku, who is actually an animated 3D hologram.
It goes on to explain that “the invented idol’s DVD is selling out and she/it is becoming a legit phenomenon.”
Did you know about this? Apparently she/it has performed to capacity crowds at stadium concerts in Japan. I had no idea. So I checked out the video the flack sent me and… holy shit:
According to the LA Times tech blog “Miku is a singing, digital avatar created by Crypton Future Media that customers can purchase and then program to perform any song on a computer. Crypton uses voices recorded by actors and runs them through Yamaha Corp.’s Vocaloid software -– marketed as ‘a singer in a box.'”
Vocaloid recently announced a new addition to its holo-talent roster, Utatane Piko, a twee little digiboy with a USB tail. Beginning December 8 he’ll be available from Sony Music Shop for 15,750 Yen.
For reference, that’s over $190. Jesus. There are countries where you could get a real boy for that.