Neon Presents Digital Avatars With Real Human Emotions at CES 2020

The new technology is attracting lots of hype at the event. But is it worth all the fuss?
Loukia Papadopoulos

There was one product that was all the talk at CES 2020, but its nature may surprise you. Called Neon and made by a previously unknown Samsung subsidiary known as STAR Labs, the new product is, by its definition, an artificial human. 

What is it?

You may be asking yourself what this invention is? Is it an AI chatbot or a human android? In fact, they are digital avatars created partially to make life less lonely.


Perhaps what these new avatars are is best explained by Neon CEO Pranav Mistry's own words. Mistry told Digital Trends he wants to “push the boundaries so machines understand more about us. Whether we are tired or happy, our expressions, and our emotions.”

Mistry believes that for us to connect with machines, they need to first understand us. To do this, Mistry believes we need to have the machines emulate our human emotions.

The project started a mere four months before CES, but Mistry and his team have already created a digital version friend that makes real expressions on its own. It started by simply mimicking their expressions and then eventually evolved on its own.

Memory and learning

Currently, the Neon does not remember you. It simply uses cameras and other sensors to interact with you at the moment.

However, the Neon team is working on a project called Spectra that will see that changed within the next year. This will bring another level of reality to the Neon.

“Spectra will provide memory and learning,” Mistry told Digital Trends. Mistry believes these additions will make Neon a true digital companion.

Still, even if the Neon acquires the capacity to remember and learn, will that give it the ability to care, the true measure of a real companion? Neon is obviously pushing the boundaries between what is human and what is a machine, but to what degree? Time will tell how the technology will evolve, but these questions are bound to follow it while it progresses.

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