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Is There a Real Lana App?

April 17, 2020
4 min read

Netflix’s latest addition to its reality show roster has all the ingredients to become an instant hit. ‘Too Hot to Handle’ has incredibly attractive people, a tropical island, and free-flowing alcohol. Moreover, the participants seem to have been selected because they enjoy sleeping around. It all adds up to a perfect cocktail for a hedonistic stay.

However, Lana has other things in mind for the participants. She is the proverbial ringmaster who states the rules of the game and also assigns tasks to the participants. Overall, she seems smarter than the average assistant apps we have available. Naturally, you might be curious about whether Lana really exists, and if we can purchase it. We have got you covered in that regard.

What is Lana?

Lana acts as the digital version of the taskmaster that we’ve become familiar with seeing in shows like ‘Big Brother.’ She is also the host. Since there is only a digital host, ‘Too Hot to Handle’ offers players a higher degree of privacy. There is nobody but themselves on the island.

However, Lana has eyes everywhere and is intelligent enough to observe the participants and gather information on them. While Lana remains sentient at all times, she ‘wakes up’ or gets activated when some communication needs to be placed to the participants. She also has a clock to gauge the progress couples are making when it comes to ’emotional connections.’ If the couples make steady progress, Lana turns green to express approval.

With a polite voice, that slightly attracts a participant in the first episode itself, Lana seems to be smarter than the other voice apps that are available in the market.

Is Lana Fake or Real?

Picture Courtesy: Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Lana comes across as an interactive app, except it is one-way communication. She only wakes up to deliver instructions. To dispel any doubts right away, we should state that Lana is not a real app or virtual assistant designed for the game. Firstly, the kind of information gathering prowess that Lana seems to possess would be possible only in the case of AI, and we are still some ways away from that technology. While Lana does not exist, it is based on quite a few real-life assistants.

Yes, we are talking about Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa. In its resemblance, Amazon’s Echo (which uses Alexa) and Lana are strikingly similar. The functioning is pretty much the same across all the platforms. Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Assistant, all gather information, once we enable their access. On paper, none of these real-life Interactive AIs or apps can collect data at Lana’s level.

However, it is undeniable that all these apps do use the data to personalize suggestions and deliver search results based on our preferences. Thus, Lana’s modus operandi seems to be the same as the real-life apps we use. Of course, Lana also keeps a close eye on what the participants are doing, which is not something Alexa or Siri, among others, should be performing.

In reality, there is a good chance that Lana reverses the speech to text technology that these real-life virtual assistants use. Instead, it relies on a text to speech model, where the producers provide instructions to the participants. The information gathered by Lana can also be explained in this manner. Producers, and those concerned with casting, are bound to have researched the participants thoroughly before selecting them to be a part of ‘Too Hot to Handle.’

Can I Buy Lana?

No, you can’t download, install or purchase Lana, since it does not exist. It is just a speaker that was developed for the sole purpose of the show. However, you can buy the real-life virtual assistants which provide an interactive experience, and extremely personalized service. Lana is yet another app that one can only dream about obtaining. It joins a list of apps used in reality shows, like ‘The Circle,’ which don’t exist but draw inspiration from existing applications.

Read More: Where is Too Hot to Handle Filmed?

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