June 8, 2012
Intel Wants To Sell Your Face To Advertisers
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com
Last December, (6 months and 1 day ago, to be exact) Google´s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt sat on stage at Paris´s LeWeb conference and made an incredibly lofty prediction: “By the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded." Google had announced a partnership with Intel to build these Google TVs the year before, and sales had yet to take off by the time Schmidt took the stage.
Clearly Google TV is nowhere near the expectations Schmidt had set, but this hasn´t stopped Intel from going back to the drawing board to create a new, virtual television service which will watch you as much as you watch it, selling your face-time to advertisers.
According to Reuters, Intel is sweet talking advertisers and content providers in order to get their latest television invention off the ground. Intel may be having some trouble persuading the content providers to let loose of their current business model, however; An issue all who have gone before them have had as well.
Intel has also been trying to keep quiet about their alleged push into the television business for fear they wake up a sleeping giant who has also been rumored to enter the same industry any day now.
Reuters cites "People Familiar With the Matter," saying Intel has been in negotiations for months, showing off a facial recognition technology which will allow advertisers to show specific ads for Dad, Mom, Junior and Little Sis. While this technology allegedly doesn´t distinguish specific people, it can determine age and gender.
Should Intel be working on a new TV set-top box, they may be late to the game. After all, Apple´s Rumored Television has been the hot topic in tech gossip for years now, and Amazon and Google are already trying to shake down the cable and satellite industry, dismantling the bundles and packages which force customers to buy 10 extra channels they don´t want in order to watch they one channel they do. And, as watching behaviors and habits shift, Silicon Valley´s heavyweights hope to be there to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Google wasn´t able to help Intel gain any footing in this industry and Apple may or may not be entering this year or next year. As such, Reuters is saying Intel believes their set-top options will be a better built system with a more robust list of content. Should Intel make the leap into this market, they could be the first to make a significant splash.
“If they can create a virtual network and it incorporates proprietary Intel technology, they could certainly bring something different to the subscription TV model.” JMP analyst Alex Gauna told Reuters.
Intel´s slightly creepy facial recognition technology might be their ace in the hole with the TV industry. After all, in a model built by advertising, being able to effectively and efficiently promote to a captive audience is good for business. After all, it must be an advertisers dream to be able to tailor and target specific ads for specific groups of people and only pay for those ads seen by actual, real human eyeballs and not just the dog.
“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 Familiar With the Matter.
As expected, Intel declined to comment about their alleged entrance into the TV industry.