Tue, Dec 14, 2010 - Page 13 News List

Appy ever after: smartphone users find virtual girlfriend

South Korean customers show their Apple iPhone 4 at the headquarters of Korea Telecom in Seoul on Sept. 10, 2010.
九月十日,南韓智慧型手機iPhone 4使用者於首爾韓國電信公司總部展示自己的手機。

Photo: AFP

Lonesome South Koreans who have trouble finding true love can now get video calls from a beautiful and cute girlfriend — if they download a smartphone application.

Nabix, a South Korean app developer, launched one called “Honey, it’s me!” on Nov. 30 for iPhone users. It achieved 80,000 downloads a day during an initial free launch period.

There are a number of apps on the market that can make single men feel a little less lonesome, including a night time app that plays the sound of a female sleeping peacefully on the next pillow.

But the “Honey, it’s me!” app appears to be the first to make video calls from a virtual model. Mina, 22, video calls smartphone users three to four times a day for some sweet talk.

Her messages range from “Are you still sleeping? Time for breakfast!” to “Good night, sweet dreams.”

A Korean model posed for the video calls and recorded more than 100 comments to melt the hearts of single men.

“I’ve developed this application to console people for their loneliness,” Kim Yoon-Kak, head of Nabix, told AFP.

Kim said usage had declined since the app went on sale for US$1.99, but he planned to allow free downloads again from this week.

Early reaction to Mina has been enthusiastic. “It’s a blessing for all single men,” praised one of the users on Twitter.

“Mina called me while I was working overtime. This is just great,” said another.

Nabix now plans new versions with more messages in English, Chinese and Japanese, both for free and with a charge for longer comments. An Android version will also be launched.





1. smartphone n.

智慧型手機 (zhi4 hui4 xing2 shou3 ji1)

例: Smartphone sales are expected to pick up in the final quarter.


2. console n.

撫慰 (fu3 wei4)

例: We tried to console him, but he wasn’t interested in what we had to say.


3. blessing n.

祝福 (zhu4 fu2)

例: Early retirement can be a curse as well as a blessing.






軟體開發商Nabix負責人Kim Yoon-Kak告訴法新社,「我開發這個軟體是為了填補人們的孤獨。」






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