LG used a virtual influencer to announce new products during its CES keynote

Reah Keem is just like you and I — she loves working on music, vacationing abroad, and is pretty bummed out about not being able to visit any cool places right now. The biggest difference, however, is that Reah Keem isn’t a real person.

LG introduced Reah Keem as a virtual influencer who appeared during its live-streamed CES keynote to unveil the company’s new line of LG CLOi UV-C robots. The robot, which was announced by LG in December, is designed for areas with high traffic, like hotels, and roams around shining UV-C light that should reduce exposure to harmful germs. Keem’s job was talking about how important the CLOi UV-C was to her own life, using the chance to talk about how excited she was to start traveling again in the real world — a world in which she technically does not exist.

She may not need oxygen to breathe, but Keem is definitely leaving her mark on the real world (including living in Seoul, apparently). She has around 6,000 followers on Instagram and a SoundCloud page with exactly one song. For what it’s worth, it’s pretty good.

Virtual influencers aren’t new, but the appearance of a virtual creator at a highly virtualized and socially distant CES really hammered home how weird this event was. It’s nothing short of bizarre watching a creepily accurate virtual influencer say things like “I’m going to chill in my studio,” working on some sick beats, until the pandemic comes to an end and safe travel can happen again.

Although, paying an influencer to promote something they don’t really care about seems entirely accurate to the influencer ecosystem. It’s unclear if LG actually created Reah Keem, or if LG paid her for her services at all; a press release only says that LG “introduced” Keem.

Will Keem have a future outside of this one LG live stream? Will she face competition from other big-time virtual influencers, including Miquela Sousa (better known as Lil Miquela) or Shudu? Right now, she’s working on her sick beats in her cool home studio, but the virtual influencer scene is heating up.

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