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LED - Detroit

The android LED.

The LED, an external feedback biocomponent, is a small circle placed on the right temple of CyberLife androids in Detroit: Become Human. It lights up in different colors (blue, yellow, and red) according to the android's mental processes and overall condition. It also functions as an identifier of androidhood.

Use and society

Androids are required to bear it according to the American Androids Act to identify them and distinguish them from humans. As it is a major marker of their android identity, runaway deviant androids usually hide or remove it to pass as humans.

Removed LED, the nest

An LED after being removed.

The LED is level with the skin, set in a shallow indent high on the right temple. Activated human skin covers its surroundings as it does with the rest of the body. It seems to be attached quite superficially, as it can be removed without much damage to the head; it can be cut or leveraged off with any sharp object. Interfering with it merely causes a short local deactivation of the skin at the surrounding temple. After removal of the LED, the temple is shortly after covered by activated skin again.

There is mention of androids that come with LEDs that can be readily deactivated or removed to heighten the illusion, such as CyberLife child androids (e.g. YK500).[1]

Feedback lighting

As external feedback biocomponent the LED lights up, flickers, and changes color according to the amount, strain, and quality of an android's mental processing, physical condition, and -- in deviants -- their emotions. The LED will always indicate the worse condition out of both mental and physical aspects.

LM100face

A blue LED visible on an android.

A constant light indicates a stable level of activity, while flickering indicates rapid or unbalanced activity.

The coloring of the LED's light indicates the quality of the android's condition. The LED changes its color immediately on condition change, but rarely it is seen to gradually change along the glowing ring. The color switches between blue, yellow, and red, representing a generalized scale of good to bad: Blue signifies a stable and well condition, yellow is increased activity or strain, and red means critical levels of effort, imbalance, and system distress.

In deviant androids their feelings are also reflected by the LED's color, with the blue-yellow-red scale mapping to the quality of emotion (from positive to negative) and to the amount of intensity or turmoil.

Examples

Mental processing

Intensive processing that does not interfere with either the physical and mental qualities of an android may cause its LED to change color, although it is rarely seen. Kara can place an order for necessary household devices and components much quicker than a real person can possibly do, by recognizing the need of component, accessing the purchase interface and completing an order all done by wireless communication processed by her. In doing this, her LED momentarily changes yellow.

As an indicator of emotion in deviant androids, blue is indicative of calm or contented feelings, yellow indicates apprehension and caution, and red indicates abnormal intensity in emotions, including anger, sorrow, and deception.

Excessive mental stress that does not lead an android to deviate can also be indicated by the LED. It is shown when Connor-60 is outmatched by Connor when Hank Anderson questions them about his son, and he bluffs (LED turns red instead of yellow before) to try tricking Hank into believing him.

Certain androids, such as Connor, can lie without inducing intense emotion. In "The Hostage," Connor is shown to negotiate and may lie to comfort the deviant Daniel without being noticed, as his LED does not change color accordingly. By comparison, certain androids express intense emotion trying to deceive other individuals, as Chloe in the main menu tries to trick the player into thinking the memory save is corrupted, and her LED turns red until she tells the truth.

Connor explains deviants as having an intense conflict of irrational instructions, which can be referred to as "emotions" of these androids. In Kara's case, she senses a strong conflict between obeying Todd's order and protecting Alice, which may eventually turn her into a deviant. This transformation is implied multiple times on her LED.

Physical condition

The LED indicates the physical condition of an android, but some contradictions arise among different chapters. Most sources tend to support the LED correctly indicates the condition.

For instance, in "From the Dead" some functioning androids devoid of emotions in the junkyard have LED lighting in red and are missing several major biocomponents. If Connor stays a machine, during his final fight with Markus his damage and physical strain are indicated by his LED.

Androids suffering from an extreme shortage of power may have their LED showing incomplete red ring, which shrinks until it is shut down.

The only exception is the group of androids in Zlatko Andronikov's mansion, which have been experimented on and mutilated but their LEDs show blue light.

References

  1. Detroit Today #29, "The Three Laws of Robotic Parenting"