Blade Runner-style virtual friends have become a reality long before the sci fi movie predicted.
Hybrid uses a combination of augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence to put a convincing 3D companion in your home – ideal for those of us feeling a bit isolated in lockdown.
The unique project, first reported in the Daily Star in June, is now live on Kickstarter and will soon be shipping.
It promises the ability to create your perfect partner in interactive 3D, without the need for additional VR wands or gloves.
Models can either be photorealistic – using Hybri’s photo upload option to create a 3D model of a real human being – or based on an Anime template.
Environments, as well as people, can be recreated too in the app’s new Time Travel function that lets users step back in time to a favourite holiday or other treasured memory.
The CEO of Hybri, Richard Donczi, told the Daily Star that making the application run on smartphones was a top priority “because we wanted to make it available for everybody, not just for those who can afford expensive AR glasses.”
The AI companions have their own “personalities” and stay active even when they’r not in use, so they can’t be left alone too long.
The app will inevitably be used by many people for sexual enjoyment, but Richard thinks it might have wider application than that.: ”Some people just want a sex partner,” he said, but “others [want] a friend and someone else will use Hybrid to let them spend time with their loved ones again.
“That said, we are constantly developing the app and we’ll know what features to add when we see more clearly what users are using the app for.”
The Kickstarter page offers a variety of levels of involvement, from just buying a VR headset to becoming an AI model within the game.
Making a model of yourself leads to Richard’s ultimate goal – a third phase of the app called Hybrid-Social with real people interacting in a completely software-generated social space.
Which is ideal for anyone missing clubs and music festivals right now – some day we may be having such fun we might not even notice we’re in lockdown.