A Reuters report shines a light on Intel’s development of a connected set-top box and its desire to license specific channels and shows from media companies and offer them in smaller packages as part of a “virtual television service.” The report says that the set-top box would be able to use facial recognition technology in order to target advertising to the consumer straight through the TV. The technology would not be as invasive as to identify individuals, but would be strong enough to determine the viewer’s gender or age to help target advertising. Intel is arguing that such interactive features would add enough value to TV advertising to offset the reduced revenue from the discounted licensing fees it has been requesting from the TV content providers. According to the report, Intel is trying to sell media companies on the idea of a TV service that could include channel packages that are similar to the ones offered by cable companies as well as offering them on-demand. Unsurprisingly, Intel’s efforts have been met with strong resistance from the TV side. Reuters says that Intel would like to launch the service before the end of the year.


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