At CES 2020, Samsung’s research subsidiary, STAR Labs had unveiled its “artificial human” project called NEON – a computationally created virtual being that looks and behaves like a real human with the ability to show emotions and intelligence.
Just one year after debut, Samsung has announced three new commercial products into the real world based on the NEON project. These products are NEON View, NEON Frame, and the NEON Studio, which will be part of the company’s NEON WorkForce and NEON Content Creation services.
For those unaware, Project NEON is not an AI (artificial intelligence) assistant but a smarter version of a simulated human assistant. Each avatar (known individually as “NEONs”) powered by complex machine learning (ML) and AI algorithms will have his or her own unique personality and can show expressions, movements, and dialogues. They are claimed to converse and sympathize just like real humans. For example, they appear on a screen and learn about people to help it give apparently intelligent and life-like responses. NEONs can be utilized in the hospitality, banking, customer service and entertainment industries.
Let’s have a look at the three commercial NEON products:
1. NEON View
The NEON View is an API-based mobile app providing live video chat-based banking services. The app will be more like a smarter digital assistant with whom you can communicate over text or have a face-to-face conversation over video call anytime and anywhere. The NEON will interact with you in real-time and provide intelligent and life-like responses. Thanks to Samsung’s proprietary technology called CORE R3, where R3 stands for Reality, Realtime, and Responsive
2. NEON Frame
The NEON Frame is a life-size immersional portal that brings NEON into the real world. It is designed for natural, full-body and real-time interactions. It virtually displays NEONs in 4K high definition, which makes the assistant look very realistic. The NEON Frame also has other features such as high-fidelity audio, data protection and encrypted workflow for all business transactions, Vision Sensor, Card Reader, Fingerprint Sensor, Touchless Payments and more.
3. NEON Studio
The NEON Studio is a content authoring tool for businesses and creatives. It can generate broadcast-ready 4K video content from any script. For example, users can feed any kind of script to a NEON, apply mood or behaviors based on the script, fine-tune movements, gestures, and facial expressions, select speaking style, speed, and voice tones to make it sound actually like a real person. Users can then publish them or live stream on their channel or broadcast in 4K.
“2020 was a challenging year for all of us around the globe. The pandemic and its effect has made virtual face-to-face communication a part of everyone’s life and a need for every business,” says Pranav Mistry, President and CEO of STAR Labs in its press release, “and with NEON’s new services, we look forward to working with our partners to help shape the future of work and our everyday life.”