Japanese Phones to Talk Back With K-ON, Hello Kitty Voices
posted on by Egan Loo
Japanese mobile phone provider NTT Docomo announced on Thursday that it is enhancing its interactive Shabette Concier ("Talking Concierge") voice agent service with new features — including the option of having the agent listen and talk back as a K-ON!! anime character, Sanrio's Hello Kitty, and other popular voices.
Similar to Apple's Siri, Shabette Concier lets users ask questions and give commands in their natural speaking voice, and the phone (via Docomo's cloud services) will interpet the request and talk back. Users can ask if their train is late, dictate email, ask for driving directions, look up their horoscopes, and other tasks.
Starting this November, users can choose a character for Shabette Concier. Not only will Shabette Concier take on the appearance of the character, but also his or her voice and dialogue lines. The characters include (from left to right, top to bottom in image) Chibi Maruko-chan, Snoopy & His Friends, the children's program Hirake! Ponkikki's popular Gachapin dinosaur mascot and his snowboy pal Mook, Hello Kitty, comedian Naomi Watanabe, K-ON!!, TV Asahi and Sanrio's Gō EX Panda mascot, and the Eagle Talon Flash comedy anime's Yoshida-kun.
NTT Docomo also announced its title lineup for "dGame," the social game service it plans to launch late next month. The titles include Namco Bandai Games' Eiyū Spirits, Kamen Rider Legends and Tales of Kizuna; Square Enix's Sengoku IXA, KLab's Captain Tsubasa ~Tsukurō Dream Team~, D2C's Evangelion ~Zettai Bōeisen~ for dGame, and Voltage's Ōji-sama no Propose (localized on GREE as Be My Princess). NTT Docomo has not annouced plans to bring dGame outside Japan; NTT Docomo has attempted to bring its services overseas in the past, but has not seen much market penetration outside Japan.
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