Intel to use facial recognition to target TV ads

Will Intel be inside the box that's watching you?

Intel is said to be developing a new breed of set-top box that would use facial recognition to broadcast targeted advertising.

The set-top box wouldn't go as far as identifying specific people, instead gathering information on age and gender.

This information is very valuable to advertisers who want to make sure they are putting their products in front of their target audience.

The technology wouldn't just be attractive to advertisers, but TV providers too. In the US, viewing figures come from Nielsen ratings information which is based on a polling system that samples just 50,000 homes.

Intel's living room cameras would be able to pin down the public's viewing habits more accurately and with more detail.

Is your TV watching you?

As if having a camera watching you while you watch TV wasn't enough of a turn-off for consumers, Intel's box could also facilitate more secure DRM on streaming content.

The deal would no doubt have to be sweetened for consumers to take up the new product – how many free channels would it take to buy your privacy?

Reuters' sources believe that Intel is aiming to launch the service later this year, though it's a hard sell for the company: "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."

After its unsuccessful pairing with Google on Google TV, could this be the product that brings Intel chips into the living room?

Via Reuters (Yahoo), The Verge