back to article Intel's new TV box to point creepy spy camera at YOUR FACE

Intel has confirmed it will be selling a set-top box direct to the public later this year, along with a streaming TV service designed to watch you while you're watching it. The device will come from Intel Media, a new group populated with staff nicked from Netflix/Apple/Google and so forth. Subscribers will get live and catch- …


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  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    This reminds me of a quote from Quadrophenia when they're in the bath:

    "Why don't you just f**k off?"

    That's exactly what I'd be saying to Intel if they dared put any bloody camera in their set top boxes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      they won't force you, nosir

      they will give a consumer A CHOICE: shutter up, or no picture other than the 24/7 ad channel :)

      1. vic 4

        Re: A choice ...

        Another choice, don't buy it.

        1. P. Lee

          Re: A choice ...

          Except that the STB will belong to the cable co, not you.

          Intel missed a trick though. They should have framed it as facial recognition to automatically filter content based on rating. So a parent gets kid to sit in front of box and snaps a picture, enters birth-date and all content rated above child's age is filtered if the child is in the room.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Kinect all over again...

      Consumers weren't afraid to buy that...

      Microsoft's patent on using Kinect to charge for the number of users watching a movie.

      Microsoft's plans on using Kinect to look for logos on shirts etc, so they can serve up up even more adverts in the Xbox dashboard.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Eric Huggers

    Eric bloody Huggers. He seems to lurch from one badly thought out tech nightmare to another.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TV on demand...

    That sounds like a great idea. Now all you need is content. Lets see whether Intel can actually get a decent amount of it, and manage to deliver it on the World Wide Web, rather than just a little local bit like Hulu does.

  4. Anonymous Custard
    Thumb Down

    Watching us watching you watching us watching you

    I just wish this was a bloody "Game for a Laugh".

    PC marketting, ultrabooks, hooky device drivers, it just seems that generically Intel doesn't have a clue these days. Where and when did it all go wrong?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What the camers will see in the eyes of customers when they stream porn !

    All wide eyed, of course and much more.

    And then imagine what more they will stream to enhance the user experience and tailormake the streams.

    Wow, cant wait for the day. Whats not to like?

    1. Petalium

      Re: Imagine

      Or rather, when intel starts streaming what you are doing in the sofa.... Amateur porn for the masses, by the masses.

      In the western world, the TV watches you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Targeted ads

        We've noticed you're trying stronger and stronger porn in a vain attempt to get hard. Would you like to buy ch£4p3r \/i@gra?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Imagine

      What the camers will see in the eyes of customers when they stream porn !

      As long as they sit close enough the picture will blur soon enough..

    4. Someone Else Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Imagine

      "Since you're watching Vixens from Space perhaps you'd be interested in this, from our sponsor Astroglide..."

  6. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    Camera watching me, watching them...

    DO. NOT. WANT.

    Shutter for the camera - like i believe thats not see though.

    1. Code Monkey

      Re: Camera watching me, watching them...

      It's a problem I'd rather not have but if it comes to it I'll gaffer tape over the shutter. Creepy bastards can fuck off.

      1. Andrew Newstead

        Re: Camera watching me, watching them...

        Blob of Blu-Tak should do the job well.

        1. Dave 126

          Re: Camera watching me, watching them...

          Exactly- tape or Blu-tac would take less time to apply to the camera than it does to moan about it here. The chances are, in this house, that all it would see is a cat anyway - starts streaming Heathcliffe and Rastamouse.

          No big deal.

          1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

            Re: Camera watching me, watching them...

            I think I will rather open up the box and take a look. There is every chance there is a mic to go with that camera, so I rather make sure I only have *incoming* traffic..

          2. mad_dr

            Re: Camera watching me, watching them...

            Next idea for Intel: dummy camera (with free Blu Tack) in the top of the bezel, in the centre. Real camera surreptitiously hidden elsewhere - perhaps in the centre of the 'e' of Intel.

            There you go - you can have that one for free...

      2. Gritzwally Philbin

        Re: Camera watching me, watching them...

        How about a teeny round mirror right in front of the camera lens so they can watch themselves - or better yet, make the initial setup and ID using photos of someone out of a National Geographic, or a tabloid pic of a celebrity!

        Oh, if the thing updates across a cloud, you *could' use someone else's face and possibly end up with their suggestions, no? Endless ways to fuck with it..

        1. tony2heads
          Thumb Up


          I like the mirror concept. You could put any picture of somebody you want to defame in front and then watch 'disreputable' channels.

      3. FunkyEric

        Re: Camera watching me, watching them...

        Errrrrrrm hands up how many of use have already put a camera in our living room courtesy of their PS3 move or XBox Kinect?

        So we have innocently put a camera on an internet connected device in our house. doh!

      4. fajensen

        Re: Camera watching me, watching them...

        Probably the designers thought of that: If the camera is not seing the right things, only Cartoon Network will be available - For The Sake of The Children!!

      5. Fenton

        Re: Camera watching me, watching them...

        I can just see it. Hot summers day so you sit down in just your shorts. It recognises a certain amount of flesh, then replys. Hello Sir I know what you want to watch..........

      6. Oninoshiko

        Re: gaffer tape over the shutter.

        The fine article said there is a shutter.

        More importantly, you still have Winston Smith's problem... how do you block the audio?

        I see lots of 1984 references, with these kind of articles, but noone even sees the problems the book saw. How many people actually read it?

  7. Spiracle


    Was it Intel that took out the "I'm not going to stream this movie until there are a few less people in the room" patent the other week?

    1. MooseWizard

      Re: Headcount?

      It was actually Microsoft.

    2. SteveK

      Re: Headcount?

      Not sure if this is the one you're thinking of?

      MS have a patent on facial recognition stuff with set top [x]boxes identifying who is watching a film so as to charge based on number of viewers etc. Seems a very similar patent to the one that Intel apparently have?

      1. Wize

        Re: Headcount?

        Instead of just tape, stick a photo over the lens. Headcount my static metal ass.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Headcount?

          Given how often the facial recognition technology in e.g. Picasa asks me to create a new person when it's spotted a particular configuration of tree branches or light switches or 3-pin socket or shadow on the wall...

          Mind you, it wouldn't be too bad for Dr Who, as we all hide behind the sofa when that's on anyway.

  8. JamesC


    Get ready for your daily Physical Jerks, soon to be monitored by your Intel TV!

    1. frank ly

      Re: 1984

      Stop slouching over your keyboard JamesC! Sit up straight and at least try to look interested.

  9. Peter Simpson 1


    Nothing that can't be fixed with a piece of black electrical tape.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tape

      Or closing the afformentioned shutter

      1. Wize

        Re: Tape

        Depends if the shutter is mechanical controlled by a lever alone or can be moved by a software controlled output. And how well it covers the lens.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tape

          99.7% of the respondents declared: "if the shutter doesn't come with a remote, I can't be bothered to go up and flick it down"


        2. fajensen

          Re: Tape

          It will of course be controlled mechanically while being UV- or IR-transparent and there will be a sensor reporting the status back to Big Brother Central: Everybody knows that the "good stuff" will be happening when the camera is "closed"!!

    2. Christian Berger

      Re: Tape

      OK, then the system probably will refuse to work. Previous systems have done that.

    3. Nanners

      Re: Tape

      Sorry, but if you cover the eye, it will just give you an error message, until you uncover again that is. It's all in the EULA.

      1. marturion

        Re: Tape

        Where in the EULA?

        WHere's the EULA?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Tape

          EULA is the cry of the Martian invaders as they finally conquer humanity and drain their very lifeblood to feed themselves.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tape

            drain their very lifeblood to feed themselves

            Are Martians by any chance mosquito-shaped?

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Tape

              Three-legged mosquitoes, yeah.

            2. generalkimber

              Re: Tape


        2. Nanners

          Re: Tape

          "WHere's the EULA?" ... oooooohhhhh there will be, there will be.

      2. P. Lee

        Re: Tape

        What was that a sci-fi fim where all the walls were TV screens and the adverts paused and a shrill note was sounded if you didn't look at them?

        1. Wize

          Re: Tape

          That was one of Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror shorts. If you tried to look away, it moved to the wall you were looking at and if you closed your eyes it ordered you to open them, with the shrill noise playing.

    4. Amorous Cowherder
      Big Brother

      Re: Tape

      "You seem to have a not unfailure with your telescreen. An service engineer will be immediately dispatched to non unrecitify it!"

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tape

      Or better still, my set top boxes (PVR etc.) are not on the set-top - they are in a cupboard. As much kit as possible is hidden in the living room.

      1. P. Lee

        Re: Tape

        Ha! I'll see your cupboard and raise you a garage.

        MythTV server, network receiver are well out of the way and there isn't a TV in the house.

    6. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Tape

      Or duct ("duck") tape. Seems there almost nothing that stuff can't fix (including, apparently Eric Huggers's latest wet dream).

    7. sjsmoto
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Tape

      That's fine for the VISIBLE camera...

      1. hplasm

        Re: Tape

        depends how many layers you wrap around the box...

    8. Prof. Mine's A. Pint

      Re: Tape

      Really? You don't think that they'll be listening too?

      So, having bought a smart TV with voice activation and the ability to Skype the family when I'm working away you think I'm going to gaffa tape my toys just so Intel can make money?

      Forget it. I'll just refuse to use this s*** and if it creeps onto my consumer electronics I see an invasion of privacy prosecution on the horizon.

      Possibly Intel could be added to the sex offenders register, because if my young kids can't run around naked in their own living room without being videoed, the world has become a seriously f***** up place.

      Apologies, but this kind of thing makes my p*** boil.

    9. Steven Roper
      Big Brother

      Re: Tape

      If you close the shutter, or otherwise cover the camera, the service will still work as normal, but your name and address will be quietly added to a watchlist of people who have something to hide and therefore something to fear.

      Then, the next time you go through an airport or a passing cop looks up your numberplate, you'll find yourself being "randomly selected" for some reason...

    10. meherenow23456
      Big Brother

      Re: Tape

      Even cheaper - don't buy one

    11. Nameless Faceless Computer User

      Re: Tape

      Try black nail polish. It looks better and lasts longer.

    12. Dave Rickmers

      Re: Tape

      These sensors also sense infrared (heat) and even though they can't "see" you they can still map your movement (if any).

    13. generalkimber
      Big Brother

      Re: Tape

      You're right about that, Peter! When my company shipped my upgraded laptop to my home office, the first thing I did was tape up the camera lens. I don't think they'd actually spy on me, but you just never know. Is that paranoid? Also, even if my company doesn't film me without my consent/knowledge, who is to say the government doesn't somehow scan for cameras and turn them on to watch us? I just don't trust the government. ESPECIALLY with the Great Pretender in the White House...its increasingly obvious that they see us as a mob that needs controlling.

  10. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Wish I could find this ad ...

    read this, and it reminded me of an ad I saw in an advertising trade journal about verified viewing figures. It had a couple "making out" on a sofa in front of the TV with the great slogan:

    "Whos screwing who ?"

    IIRC it was an ad for a market reseach company.

    1. Steve the Cynic

      Re: Wish I could find this ad ...

      Yes, I remember that one. "Making out" rather effectively conceals that the couple in question were at it like rabbits... The advertiser was basically saying that if you were relying on these figures, you had to remember that a significant fraction of your audience (at more or less any time of day) would not be paying the slightest attention to the TV, and specifically to the ads. They might use the ads as an opportunity to visit the small room, or to go to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, or to gabble witlessly on the phone while staring at nothing in particular, or, indeed, to hump like rabbits. Whatever they are doing during the ad slots, they *aren't* looking at the ads, and they probably aren't even listening, but the "verified" figures would show that they were.

      I also recall a study where some ratings agency or other, possibly Neilsen, installed cameras in the respondents' set-top boxes (with permission, duh) to watch them. They found a disturbing quantity of empty rooms, people doing aerobics (with or without clothes) with their backs to the TV, necking and full-on sex; all in all, there was significantly less watching of the programming and/or ads than reported.

      Advertisers would do well to pay attention to these ideas...

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intel has struggled to get people to buy their chips for set-top boxes and where they have made deals it looks like they aren't getting repeat contracts because it is such a pain. So I suppose it makes sense for Intel to make their own box, because no one else wants to.

    1. Rufus McDufus

      Are Intel deliberately trying to produce the least successful product in history here?

  13. jubtastic1
    Paris Hilton

    6079 Tastic, J!

    "Yes, you! ...You can do better than that. You’re not trying. Harder please!”

    Chatroulette meets 1984.

  14. Seanmon
    Big Brother

    If it doesn't move...

    ... or doesn't connect, and it should: WD40.

    If it moves or connects or needlessly spies on you, and it shouldn't: Gaffer tape.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the first time Intel have tried to get into the living room. Remember Viiv...?

    1. Anonymous Coward 15

      The name rings a bell, but I can't remember wtf it is.

  16. Christian Berger

    That's why you want open source

    I mean a camera can have its advantages. For example you can video phone or you can have the device lower the volume when you are doozing off, etc.

    However you don't want to have to trust a company like Intel to not abuse this power. That's why you want to have open source. Software which is transparent, which you, any everybody else can examine and change. And if _you_ don't like it, you can use an alternative version.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's why you want open source

      "you, any everybody else can examine"

      Right - I'm sure that Joe Average is going to ssh into his set-top box, untar the source, and use grep and vim to dig around through the tens or hundreds of thousands of lines of various libraries and image processing code to make sure nothing untoward is going on while he watches the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with his college buddies.

      Open source has its advantages, but it inspires an almost unquantifiable level of disbelief that so many evangelists seem to think that regular people are going to 'examine and change' phenomenally complex software that was engineered by hundreds of people in different companies over many months or years.

      On the one hand, techies (perhaps or perhaps not including the OP, out of fairness) roundly criticize Mr. Average for his stupidity in wanting to watch the drivel on TV, and mock him for his inability to handle simple tasks like setting up an email server - while on the other, they whip around 180 degrees and expect Joe to perform the work of several experienced software engineers, on a whim, just in case.

      We do not - I repeat, do NOT - live in some kind of wild-eyed utopia where normal people are knocking back a few brewskis, shooting the shit about their exes ("exes", not ".exes", people; buckle your trousers), and combing through source code, valiantly protecting their rights from corporate hegemony. People will not do this. And you, gentle reader - no matter how kick-ass of a sysadmin you are, you're not going to do it either. When was the last time you wrote a new feature into OpenOffice or checked around to make sure its updater isn't siphoning personal information off somewhere? Yeah - half past never, I'll wager.

      It's a fantasy - and worse, a fantasy that damages the credibility of anyone advocating it from the perspective of people who live in the actual world.

      If you want to convince a normal guy that open source is in his interest, please, for the love of God, stop telling him it's because then he can check the source code on his DVR for privacy violations. All you're doing is convincing him that you're a bunch of paranoid freaks.

      Oh, and especially don't do it while you're wearing a huge gnu costume.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Armageddon: The Musical

    Strange. I read Robert Rankin for laughs, not for prophecy.

  18. Tom 35

    What is the real reason?

    "US isn't ready for entirely à la carte options and that Intel will be selling bundles of content"

    - The content companies want to bundle crap with the good stuff.


    - Intel wants to bundle crap with the good stuff.

  19. Blueknight

    I'm really surprised that no commenter here has said it----Just don't buy it-------All you people have said is if,if if. If a frog has wings,he wouldn't bump his ass every time he jumped. If the camera bothers you,DON'T FU(KING BUY IT. See,simple. Problem solved.

    1. Steven Roper

      The problem with that philosophy is

      that if enough sheep do buy it that it becomes a market standard, every other company jumps on the bandwagon, and then we have no choice left.

      Consider for example what has happened with IT: Apple enjoyed such massive success with the iPad and iPhone, and their attendant walled-garden and restrictive ownership conditions, that every other company is now emulating it - even Microsoft has now jumped on the walled-garden bandwagon with Windows 8, and for those of us who want to remain free of this paradigm, our options are fast running out.

      Likewise with Facebook and Twitter; I'm seeing an awful lot of companies wanting to see your social networking profiles as a condition of application for employment. If you don't have one, your employment options are becoming increasingly limited.

      Please note this is not to have a dig at Apple or Windows 8 or Facebook per se, but merely to illustrate the principle of how a restrictive, controlling paradigm can become the norm if enough people buy into it.

      In the end, when someone says "If you don't like it, don't buy it", what happens when it gets to the stage where you need some version of it to function in modern society? These days, you can't get by in any first-world country without the Internet or a mobile phone; you may hate them, but you can't just "not buy one", because you'll find yourself unable to access essential services without it. Your only other option in such a situation is to go and join an Amish community.

      This is why we complain about these sorts of trends - because we know from painful experience that if it remains unopposed, eventually we'll be forced into adopting it by the sheer momentum of mass-market takeup.

      1. Gritzwally Philbin

        Re: The problem with that philosophy is

        I don't have a twitter or facebook account and have yet to have it be an issue let alone even be asked about it. I suppose my standard answer would be 'I don't waste my valuable time or energy on such trivialities, I have too much to do.." and let any prospective employer work out that. If they won't hire based on that, then they're idiots and as such, one wouldn't want to work there in the first place.

        Choices are always available, just that some are less onerous than others.

        (Heck, I don't even have a cell phone - a iPhone, yes, but it's got no phone service.. Go figure)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The problem with that philosophy is

          "If they won't hire based on that, then they're idiots"

          I own a small company, and if someone said that to me, he'd be history - not because he doesn't use Facebook or twitter, but because he's self-centered enough to be unable to consider anyone else's point of view, and flat-out stupid enough to insult what is likely a significant percentage of people around him without even being aware of it (or worse, without caring about it).

          Even if I could stomach that attitude personally, I don't need someone in my employ who's likely to walk into an important meeting and in complete ignorance issue an embarrassing and insulting broadside to the partner / customer / investor involved.

          I used to think that Sheldon Cooper's baldfaced and utterly un-self-aware arrogance was caricature created for effect, but the more I read on the Reg forums, the more I'm convinced they probably have to water it down to make him seem at all plausible.

  20. Les Moor
    Thumb Down

    Oh, Intel!

    'He didn't say what the service will be called, but did say that the US isn't ready for entirely à la carte options..."

    1. CreeperVision is overwhelmingly appropriate as the name for the new service.

    2. The US has been ready for "à la carte options" for decades. It's the providers who can't get their act together.

    1. John G Imrie
      Big Brother

      Re: Oh, Intel!

      He didn't say what the service will be called

      It needs to be something big and friendly like your elder brother.

      There must be a snappy name out there some where, I'm sure it will come to me.

      1. jayeola

        Re: Oh, Intel!

        Call it the BigBruva v

      2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Oh, Intel!

        I'd just re-use "Intel inside"

        It's just that "Inside" now refers to your life instead of a PC case.

  21. Roger Lancefield
    Thumb Down

    Eloi Cam

    Intel marketers: "As for our potential customers, a third feel crushed by current level of surveillance economy pwnership and so will just shrug and meekly go along, another third think that allowing a business to surveil their family in their living room is a fair exchange for a more convenient login process, the last third will think they'll be able to circumvent this with a piece of gaffer tape, not stopping to think that we might ever restrict available content based upon what the camera can see. They're in no condition to resist".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eloi Cam

      that struck me as the obvious problem with the gaffa-tape solution... but hey... intercept the damn video stream from camera (raspi, stelaris launchpad, arduino, whatevs) and replace with a static photo, of, say, Mr Huggers.

      1. Roger Lancefield

        Re: Eloi Cam

        @Anonymous Coward "replace with a static photo, of, say, Mr Huggers." Heh! :-D

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eloi Cam

      I wonder how often you have to play back a pr0n video with the head of their CEO dubbed in through the video camera feed before they get the point..

  22. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    Just, No.

    BTW I'm not used to being watched while I'm netsurfing. No camera see, and no intention of getting one.

  23. Paul Ireland
    Big Brother

    Watching you, watching our ads

    Watching you watching your ad quota before we give you "free" content. I remember reading about this idea in one of Stephen Baxter's sci fi books.

    I like Wize's idea of putting a photo in front of the camera. If the camera detects the static photo hack, then place a cheap android device in front playing a video of people watching TV. If they introduce twin '3D' cameras like MS Kinect then we might be stuffed, and we might actually have to watch adverts!

  24. RealmOfCoufusion

    set TOP boxes??

    Surely what with modern tellyboxes being all slimline these days (not like when I was a lad etc. etc.), surely these "set top boxes" are actually going to be placed on a shelf *under* the telly.

    If that's the case, all a camera would see in my house would be a close-up of my dog's backside.

  25. Eugene Crosser

    "on-demand television - a business safe from the ARM-based competitors"

    umm... I am not so sure.

  26. AJames

    Probably U.S. only

    Don't worry about it. It's unlikely to be available outside the U.S.

  27. regadpellagru
    Thumb Down

    Creepy indeed

    "More controversial is the plan to use a camera on the box to look outward, to identify the faces staring at the goggle box... telescreen-stylie. Intel will use that to present personalised options and targeted advertising, in a process which seems immediately creepy but ...^"

    Well, yes, it bloody does ! Am I the only one to think some analisys of behaviour will be done at one point, in order to provide adapted ads ? I don't think this is the number/type of faces they're after ... And surely, the SW will be remotely adapted at whatever is marketable.

    And would everyone be really happy to see a porn movie pop out of the screen, with an all-scream lady, when having a good rumpy-pumpy with the Missus ?

    I'm not even talking on the said rumpy-pumpy fully sent to porntube ...

    Really, who on their right mind, would buy this ???

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll show you mine

    if you show me hers

    Possibilities are endless. Can't wait :(

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the camera will have a physical shutter on the front

    do you want to watch the prime content with as much as 10% discount!? Terms and conditions apply, such as... keeping the shutter up (and don't try to be funny by placing a picture of a Terminator in front of it. We DO know who you really are!

    Do you want to maintain your current level of council tax, instead of paying a "privacy premium" of 500%? Keep the shutter up!

  30. Anonymous Coward

    As I suggested in the previous thread about this - the obvious thing to do is not to put tape over the lens, but rather to point it at something else, most likely another screen showing some kind of video. Serving suggestions:

    - Pulp Fiction

    - Animated patterns specifically designed to screw with image compression and facial recognition algorithms

    - Kaptain Kangaroo

    - Those videos that extremists take of their hostages

    Target your advertising to that, bitch!

  31. TRT Silver badge

    Not a camera...

    A finger swipe on the remote, because he (or she) who rules the remote, rules the world (of what you watch on TV).

  32. Capitalist_Swine

    Don't act surprised, xbox kinect has been doing this for awhile and no seemed to care (or perhaps be aware that you can easily hack into it to make your own personal spy camera...)

  33. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother


    that camera will put off anyone from watching the pr0n channels .....

  34. Tikimon
    Thumb Down

    Charging by person = FAIL

    Why do they assume persons present when a show is on are WATCHING IT? That's often not the case.

    Show of hands: who has sat beside a TV watcher while reading, knitting, or other activity and totally ignoring the TV? Or had a companion nearby ignoring your TV broadcast? Doing a puzzle on the floor? PLAYING WITH THE DOG?

    "Human present" does not equal "Viewer", and is a FAIL model to charge by.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Charging by person = FAIL

      Well, part of the point of these things is that with the appropriate image processing you *can* tell where someone is looking - and thus whether someone is really watching.

      Creepy it may be, but do you really think they went to all that work without considering the first, most obvious issue?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Charging by person = FAIL

        Yeah, I can't wait to see what targeted stream the dog gets =)

    2. P. Lee

      Re: Charging by person = FAIL

      More likely, the advertiser is charged per person watching.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Charging by person = FAIL

        "More likely, the advertiser is charged per person watching." who have pony tails, beards, and black t-shirts with white lettering are eliminated from the statistics.

  35. vic 4

    Such a big issue?

    Personally as long as it is just identifying me and what is the difference between a traditional log-in? My laptop knows who I am via a camera, as does my phone, why not my tv? The only real issue is trust and security, just like any system.

    Could have a lot of benefits, like remembering how through the film you were watching when you fell asleep.

  36. nimster

    set-up top box it ain't

    I'd challenge anyone to owns a "set top box" to place it upon their set.

    More of a set below box nowadays....

  37. Gavin McMenemy

    I agree with everyone here (including those pointing out that it's coming with a shutter).

    Putt aside 1984 for a moment it does also remind me of the TV service Stand on Zanzibar...

    ... no, not a good thing. Count me out.

  38. chivo243 Silver badge

    As long as it's looking at my eyes!

    Then, we're cool.....

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    in Soviet union...

    ...TV watches YOU

  40. Haku

    Black Mirror - 15 Million Merits

    Did the tv makers see that and think it was a solid idea to have a forced tv advertising system that can detect when you're not looking at the screen and penalize you for doing so?

    1. P. Lee

      Re: Black Mirror - 15 Million Merits

      Ah that's the film.

      They don't need to penalise you, they just mark lots of potential advert points and if you aren't there to watch, the system gets back to the content and waits for you to return, whereupon it inserts adverts again.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next up: blipverts

    Remember people, 1984 had the government putting the cameras in the homes. It was Max Headroom that had the big corporations putting the cameras in people's homes.

    So, put a small, cheap media player in front of the camera. Put something interesting on a loop - like Debbie Does Dallas. Make that Rebus tape interesting!

  42. Trollslayer
    Thumb Down


    This is Intel's third (or fourth?) attempt to launch set top box chips - and now they are resorting to making the box itself.

    Oh dear.

  43. Graeme5

    All for it

    I am quite happy to be identified by my face... it happens all the time every day. Why shouldn't my TV be able to do it.

    Obviously as well as learning what I watch it could read my mood. I have seen software projects that can do this... so when I am 10 mins in to another TopGear on Dave it could speak up and say... "you look board, how about watching The Matrix on Film4?

    That would be cool.

    So long as it didn't read my post over my shoulder I would be completely fine with this.

  44. N2

    Made me smile

    The mind boggles as to what could hit Youtube whilst viewing a smidgen of pron.

    Simples to block.

  45. This post has been deleted by its author

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Another brilliant idea for defeating the Intel-cam

    Tape a picture of the Simpsons sitting on their couch in front of the camera...... :)

    (And yes, spy-cam TV is incredibly creepy and intrusive!!)

  47. tempemeaty
    Big Brother

    The name, well citizens, why not....

    Oceania Blue

  48. Winkypop Silver badge

    Not a chance

    I'd take up origami or stamp-collecting as entertainment before having a Creep-O-Box [TM] in my house.

  49. P. Lee

    PR isn't their largest problem

    When you're talking millions of devices and very limited function, price becomes more important than x86 compatibility.

    Atom is way too expensive.

  50. Loki 1


    "Grandpa... what's a tele-vision?"

    "Ah lad, back in the 20th Century the whole family used to gather round that there device and watch programs. This was before the days of the internet of course. Back then, we had to work down t'pit 23 hours a day...."

    Come on, who the hell watches TV these days anyway? Isn't it dead yet?

  51. t.est

    This was a Apple rumor some time ago

    And the h.264 part just reinforces that part.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Watching TV through 1-way glass

    so Big Brother can watch himself trying to watch me...

  53. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    I, for one, welcome our new pervert cameras.

    I hear about people getting up to all kinds of things on the couch in front of the TV, especially during the commercial breaks. Now there will be multiple web sites based on this technology, where I can watch them at it. Maybe even my neighbours and in real time. I can hardly wait.

    Anonymouse Coward

    Well, it's got to be better than watching the TV programmes. Even if they're just doing a crossword together then that's an intellectual exercise. Up to a point.

  54. TimB

    Nothing wrong with the idea

    It's the implementation and marketing that's poor. You can't just introduce built-in facial recognition as a standard feature and not expect a backlash.

    The right way to do it would have been to ship the standard box without the camera, and have an add-on camera available for an extra £10 or so. Target it at families with selling points such as "Get suggestions that *you* want to watch, not your whole family", "Automatically block your kids from seeing adult content." and "Save energy by automatically powering off when you fall asleep in front of the TV"

    Before long, you'll have parents wanting you to implement features that stop the TV from working when Little Johnny covers the camera, and casual users loving the extra convenience. When it's mainstream, you can quietly get bought out by Google without anyone batting an eyelid.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing wrong with the idea

      "Save energy by automatically powering off when you fall asleep in front of the TV"

      Well, Sony's stuff at least does that rather more simply; it checks whether anything out there is moving. Luckily it doesn't need to know your social security number to do it.

      Of course, that also means that a restless dog will keep your TV on, should you happen to leave it shortly before the dog's entree to the room - but I suppose you can always tack the electricity charges onto the dog's rent. Or dock him a biscuit, or something.

  55. bag o' spanners

    Massively multiplayer


  56. Badvok

    Amazing the amount of vitriol on here against this concept when a mobile phone that already does similar sells in the millions.

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