Meet the adorable Mirai Suenaga - general ambassador for Japanese culture and, hopefully, soon hitting stores as an animatronic ‘smart doll’ able to let you know when you’ve received Facebook, Twitter or mail notifications, as well as help organise your diary, or even (if you ask nicely) teach you Japanese.
Created by entrepreneur Danny Choo, Mirai began life as a 2D illustration back in 2007 when she was designed as the official mascot for his website Culture Japan.
Her popularity grew rapidly – she’s even been featured on a fleet of Japanese air craft – and Danny eventually decided to transform Mirai Suenaga into a doll with a difference.
Developed using cutting-edge 3D printing techniques – as well as, of course, some pretty nifty animatronics - Choo says that she’s ‘apparently the world’s first 3D printed interactive robot doll’, although the 60cm figurine will actually be produced in two versions: the fully interactive model, and a ‘manual’ version without the mechanics (we know which one we’ll be ordering).
Adding to her growing list of achievements, Mirai Suenaga will also boast some unexpectedly impressive fashion credentials.
Danny’s father just happens to be ultra-famous shoe designer Jimmy Choo, and it seems that time once spent learning his Dad’s trade is starting to pay off.
“To be honest I never thought I’d follow in my father’s footsteps to make shoes” said Danny, “but now that I have my own line of dolls – it only makes sense to build upon my experience… and produce my own line of shoes for dolls too”.
Result? A line of super-cute hand-crafted mini-loafers that’s sure to have the fashion-pack drooling.
Unsurprisingly, Mirai has even been signed up to hit the catwalk in her very own fashion shows. This gal, it seems, really does have it all.