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ANA invests in tech for virtual vacations and doctor visits

Airline spins off avatar venture as it weathers travel slump

Avatars enable users to go on virtual shopping and sightseeing trips. (Photo by Masashi Isawa)

TOKYO -- The parent of Japan's All Nippon Airways has backed a startup launched by its own employees to further develop remotely controlled avatars that can be used in tourism, retail and health care.

ANA Holdings and the two employees will invest a total of 200 million yen ($1.8 million) into the startup, called Avatar-in, though the size of the stake is undisclosed. 

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