Intel TV Service Monitors Viewers for Advertisers

Dennis Faas's picture

Intel is reportedly working on a new facial recognition system designed to help advertising companies target consumers in a more efficient, direct manner.

The ground-breaking hardware is said to be able to recognize distinguishing features about people watching a TV screen, and individually select target-specific advertisements to display for them.

The system is based on a set-top control box that does not identify specific individuals, but does recognize their general characteristics, such as gender and age. (Source:

Precise Monitoring, Feedback

Intel is currently asking media networks for their support in creating a web-based video service, which it proposed earlier in the year, to compete with cable and satellite providers.

Details about the service remain sparse, but observers say that Intel would offer a small number of channels with precise monitoring of its viewers.

While many believe that Intel has much to gain from smart TVs powered by its hardware (especially with Intel being a leader of such innovation), convincing manufacturers and consumers to support the new service has apparently proven difficult.

The result is a major delay in getting the proposed video service off the ground.

Said one executive following a recent meeting with Intel, "they've told us the technology is going to be so much more interactive, with ads that can make you more money. But it's just a little unproven." (Source:

Advertisers Unsure About TV and Viewer Watching Each Other

Another reason Intel is having trouble getting advertising companies to support its proposed network: most of them tend to be leery of the idea a "television that watches the viewer" and reports the data back to headquarters.

Many also feel this system would be vulnerable to hackers, who could compromise the system's security and steal its especially sensitive information.

In any event, it appears that Intel now intends to debut its video advertising service before the end of 2012.

However, given all the recent foot-dragging on the part of advertisers, it's possible the innovative audience-sensing system won't be ready for prime time before December.

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