Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Market: Set-top Box with Camera

Electronics Weekly, AllThingsD: Intel intends to sell set top boxes equipped with a camera. It's said be able to identify each individual watcher in front of a domestic TV. The information gathered will allow companies to target advertising at specific telly-watching individual. The box will be sold by mysterious Intel Media division. Erik Huggers, VP of Intel Media, says that it delivers a TV which "actually cares about who you are". Intel says several hundred of its employees are currently testing the box in their homes and it hopes to launch the service this year.

In order to make a reliable recognition of a watcher, the STB camera needs to have quite a high resolution and a good low light sensitivity. If Intel's approach is widely adopted, STBs might become a next big market for image sensors.


  1. This makes sense? Intel does not worry being sued?

  2. Great! I remember reading about something like this on some sci-fi book... which was it... oh, yeah, that George Orwell one!

  3. And it sounds like a nice tool for dictators who want to make sure their citizens are approved programming, with smiles....

  4. Keep in mind, Intel STB camera has a cap. If you prefer to watch generic non-targeted ads, just put this cap on.

  5. I think this is the last think I want. Next will the the cable company be posting updates to my Facebook page about what I'm watching? Do I really want my friends to know I'm secretly a huge fan of Mexican wrestling? I can see huge surge in demand for rubber Halloween masks, too.

    It reminds me of Yakov Smirnoff's old joke, "In America you watch TV. In Soviet Russia, TV watches you!"

  6. "In America, you watch television. In Soviet Russia, television watch you!" - Yakov Smirnoff

  7. I wonder if this is not a sign of desperation on Intel's part?

    After all, the Intel colossus has badly missed the mobile revolution - I believe their presence in phones, smartphones and tablets is miniscule. I understand they are scrambling now with their FINFET efforts to deliver a better performance/power ratio.

    I have not upgraded my notebook computer in a few years - how much faster can I read email and documents with a faster CPU? I don't think I am alone.

    1. Actually, the latest FinFET generation of Intel Atoms is quite good in terms of performance per Watt. At least, not worse than the one of ARM camp.


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