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Netflix is goofing off with lab-grown bodies at CES

Among the deluge of CES news releases this week, one stood out because it made little sense: Netflix was bringing its upcoming Altered Carbon series to the big Las Vegas exhibition. How do you bring a drama series to a hardware show?

It turns out, Netflix’s idea was to construct an elaborate faux-serious campaign, including a partnership with the drama’s fictional company Psychasec, and the collaborative booth they’re presenting at CES is a pretend exhibition area for Psychasec’s “sleeve” products. A sleeve, in the Altered Carbon universe, is a spare body you can transfer your consciousness into — because, as the tagline smugly proclaims, “no body lives forever.”

About Altered Carbon: Set 300 years in the future, it follows a dead soldier named Takeshi Kovacs (Suicide Squad’s Joel Kinnaman). In this future, people can digitally transfer their consciousness from one body to the next by way of an implant called a Stack. Kovacs, killed on a distant planet and awoken on Earth, discovers that he’s been hired to help Earth’s wealthiest man, Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy), investigate his own death, which the police believe is a suicide.

Nobody at CES was really buying the idea that they were being sold new sleeves for their souls, though there were plenty of intrigued onlookers. Guess that’s what happens when you show a little bit of flesh, whether it’s a real or simulated human.

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