Granted, this new translation device that instantly converts spoken English to Japanese and back again is incredibly cool, but the way the company chose to get the brand message out is profoundly creepy.
The wearable device that resembles a USB flash drive is called “Ili” and it works without an Internet or cellular connection.
But the advertising for this cool new gadget has been the source of outrage among viewers, as it features a man using it to approach Japanese woman on the streets of Tokyo and convince them to give him a kiss.
It is unclear whether the women are actors or not –some simply laugh at him, but others run away and in one scene it appears a girl hits him.
On a scale of one to ten, this ranks a solid 11 on the creepiness scale. If the company was looking to go viral by upsetting people, mission accomplished.
Have a look.
Cringe-worthy promo aside, the gadget itself looks to be pretty awesome and great for myriad other uses aside of scoring on the streets in a foreign country.
Ili premiered this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and it works off a built in database of words and phrases. Currently it can translate between English, Chinese and Japanese.
The maker, Logbar, says that it is working on making the device able to translate French, Thai, Korean, Spanish, Italian and Arabic.
Ili is slated for pre-order sometime this spring. www.iamili.com
I too am outraged by the ad for the ili wearable translator. I won't tweet link though, because that is exactly what their PR wants me to do
— Angela Barnes (@AngelaBarnes) January 7, 2016