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Intel’s “Big Brother” TV: More Viewers Would Reject Than Accept TV Cameras

by David Mercer | 7月 08, 2013

You are watching TV and your TV is watching you: this appears to be the vision of some futurists, and the commercial availability of technologies which would let TVs know who is watching and how much they enjoy or dislike programmes is getting ever closer. Early implementations can be seen in the form of Microsoft’s Xbox games console when paired with its Kinect sensor: this currently allows for identification of individuals for the purpose of service login. Samsung’s latest smart TVs also feature facial recognition to support content recommendation and other applications.

There have also been suggestions that Intel’s new TV service will include a camera or sensor which would allow the system to customise the TV service to individual viewers. When questioned Intel’s Erik Huggers said he thinks “many users” would opt in to “visual tracking” if the viewing experience were enhanced.

So we decided to ask 6000 viewers what they thought of this idea. Unfortunately for Intel the results of our ConsumerMetrix survey do not support the idea that “many” people will support it. Only 14% of people said they would not mind at all if their viewing behaviour was observed and data collected, while a further 20% said they had some reservations but would not object if the TV service improved significantly. By contrast 43% of people said they would either never allow a camera or sensing device to be connected to their TV, or would probably never be convinced that such technologies could be beneficial.

So its seems as though Intel, Samsung and other vendors face a struggle to present the benefits of TV cameras and sensors, especially as the people who are most cautious about them are also those who are more likely to be heavy TV viewers. I’m sure this won’t stop manufacturers as well as TV service providers and pay TV companies continuing to push the boundaries of these technologies, to improve service usability as well as the potential for new revenue streams.

David Mercer

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