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Big Brother really IS watching you, as Intel announces new TV concept

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

February 12, 2013 | 3 min read

Intel is planning to launch an Internet TV this year that will distribute live TV, on-demand programming and an app platform.

Erik Huggers: Some people might be creeped out

"I believe we can bring an incredible television experience via the Internet to consumers," said Intel Media GM Erik Huggers today during All Things D's : Dive Into Media event.

Controversially The TV will feature a front-facing camera that will be able to detect who is watching it, raising the Orwellian spectre of "Big Brother is Watching You ."

Huggers didn't go into the level of recognition technology, but suggested that it could distinguish between a child and an adult.

That could be a boon for programmers, said Adweek, looking to know who's watching their shows and advertisers aiming to target their ads to specific audiences.

On privacy concerns, Huggers - conscious that this idea might "creep out " some people - said consumers would have the option to close its shutter.

A report by Hot Hardware last year speculated that Intel was promising technology in a set-top box that could “ distinguish who is watching, potentially allowing Intel to target advertising”.

The technology could "potentially identify if the viewer is an adult or a child, male or female, and so on, through interactive features and face recognition technology."

The move into TV is a big change for Intel , know to many simply as the giant behind the '"Intel Inside' label on PCs and devices.

Dutch-born Huggers , formerly the BBC's director of future, media and technology, said that his team had been working directly with TV programmers on the Intel product, reported Adweek. He wouldn't say whether any companies have signed content distribution agreements.

Customers would pay Intel instead of the cable companies, he said.

FOOTNOTE: Wikipedia tells us that in the society that Orwell describes in 1984, everyone is under complete surveillance by the authorities, mainly by telescreens. The people are constantly reminded of this by the phrase "Big Brother is watching you".

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