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White dream (2/2) [Explore #19] | © Georgi C / Flickr
White dream (2/2) [Explore #19] | © Georgi C / Flickr
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Japan is Making Shadow Boyfriends, for Security

Picture of Lucy Dayman
Updated: 4 April 2018
Although Japan is one of the safest nations in the world, living in a big city can still be a little scary at times, especially if, like many of those living in the country’s capital cities, you live alone. But don’t worry, the latest series of Japanese inventions has come to your aid. Apartment management company Leo Palace 21 has just unveiled its most recent creation: virtual shadow men. Here’s the scoop.

Although the city’s crime rate is low, the main targets of the home invasions that do occur are single women. Moving to the city for work and educational opportunities is a rite of passage for many young Japanese citizens; however, house sharing and living with roommates is still a rather foreign concept. Single women often live alone in apartments and unfortunately become a target for criminals.

Designed to trick potential home invaders, the projection system known as the Man on the Curtain is actually created by a small compact projector, which can be controlled via smartphone. The projections were created by filming actual actors going through the motions of living at an apartment, so the silhouettes promise to be as believable as the real deal.

Clients will be able to choose from one of 12 or more activities for their projection to do, including vacuuming, weight training, doing the laundry, yoga, and even shadow boxing. Currently, each video projection routine runs for about 30 minutes and can be played on six-hour loops, creating illusions of realistic situations.

As you can see, the projected men seem very realistic, but may not be entirely believable. Some of the actions, like vacuuming, aren’t entirely foolproof as the more savvy burglar may notice the lack of sound emanating from the apartment.

Whether Man on the Curtain will be a best seller or not is up for debate, especially considering that, as Bloomberg reported earlier this year, Japan is currently the safest it’s been in 70 years. The number of recorded crimes in the country last year was 915,042; pretty small for a nation of 127 million people. Many assume they have the stable economy and an unemployment rate of just 2.8 percent to thank for that.

You can’t rush out and buy your own shadow boyfriend just yet. It’s still in the prototype stage. However, Leo Palace has said that it’ll be giving away free prototype units for early stage testing soon. If you live in Japan, you can apply for prototype consideration here. While you wait, check out some of our favourite Tokyo apartments you can rent right now.