Intel to target TV viewers with facial recognition ad tech
Watching you, watching it
Intel is pitching a set-top box to media companies that can recognize the viewer in order to pitch more-targeted advertising. Luckily, it's reportedly running into problems.
Multiple sources told Reuters that Intel is developing the hardware and software to allow facial recognition of the viewer, including their age and gender. Chipzilla is pitching media networks for support in a TV network, offering a small numbers of channels but with very precise user monitoring and feedback.
Because who doesn't want adverts aimed right at them?
"They've told us the technology is going to be so much more interactive with ads that you can make more money. But it's just a little unproven," said one executive involved in the negotiations.
Intel had been pushing the concept of smart TVs powered by its hardware for some time, but has had little luck convincing manufacturers or consumers that they need what Chipzilla has to offer. Some reports suggest that Intel has been considering getting out of the market, but it may be the company has changed tack instead.
Companies are also taking another look at this whole targeted-advertising malarkey, as well. There's a growing consumer backlash against highly targeted advertising that uses personal data, and the idea of a television that watches and reports back on the viewer could well prove unpopular.
Intel is also reportedly running into problems that have bedeviled others trying to break into the US TV market. Suppliers know that very few people will buy specialist channels, so they're commonly sold in bundles, and Intel's plans look to be too small-scale for most bundlers.
"Why would I want you to take subscribers away from another distributor at a lower price?" said media executive who spoke on condition of anonymity. ®
Sell your soul...
"facial recognition of the viewer, including their age and gender." So.we'll now have cameras watching us in the living room, or in any room you choose to use such a 'service' in. The Orwellian telescreen will get a huge update with this being introduced. They know that you know you want it.
From Orwell's 1984:
"The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live -- did live, from habit that became instinct -- in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinised"
When you intrude an advert into something I'm watching, or reading, or listening to, it has the same psychological effect on me as if someone had suddenly shat on my plate, while I was enjoying a meal, or pissed in my glass, while I was enjoying a drink. It makes me feel about as well-disposed towards you and as keen to give you my money as I would towards anyone who carried out either of those two acts.
If you think the best way to avoid antagonising me in this way involves also spying on me so that you can ensure the steaming shit you deposit on my dinner plate is my preferred shade of brown, you are missing the point by several lightyears.
I can imagine this being *really* popular
"According to our tracking data, 5% of the audience put on masks when the adverts came on, 10% of them swore, 20% made rude gestures and 64% either left the room or turned to a different channel. The remaining 1% watched, but we think they were the clients who ordered the adverts". I understand companies want to make money but it would be nice if they could find ways other than showing as many adverts as possible when we're in the middle of something else.