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Virtual girlfriend ‘Vivi’ aimed to help increase Chinese VR headset sales

/ 07:06 PM December 11, 2017

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Introducing an interactive virtual girlfriend may be the way to help increase sales for virtual reality headsets. At least that’s what Chinese Netflix-style streaming service iQiyi expects to happen.

According to a report on the South China Morning Post, a virtual assistant app called “Vivi” has gotten some upgrades to make her the girl-next-door type of virtual girl.

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In Vivi’s previous version, the virtual assistant worked as any other virtual assistant. Vivi took care of show schedules on iQiyi, made suggestions and answered queries.

The new Vivi on the other hand could now flirt, give compliments, and even get evasive about her age, the report cited.

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iQiyi, a division of Chinese search engine Baidu, hopes to sell more of their Qiyu VR headsets to individuals between 18 and 35 years old through Vivi.

The Qiyu currently has a cheaper price tag of 3,499 yuan (around P27,000) compared to the more commercially popular HTC Vive Focus which sits at 3,999 yuan (about P30,500).

iQiyi VR unit product director Li Xing said more upgrades are in store for Vivi which includes a dance command.

Middle aged Ma Xiangli shared his experience with Vivi, “For those who stay home a lot, having a virtual companion helps fill a void. It’s like role-playing a domineering boss and his secretary.”

He added, “I’m already a middle-aged man, and if I like it, I’m sure younger people would like it too.” Alfred Bayle/JB

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TAGS: app, Baidu, iQiyi, Qiyu, virtual assistant, Vivi, VR headset
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