When Intel announced that it was coming out with a telly service, the tame Apple Press rushed to dub the machine a “spy in your living room.” It had damn good reasons for doing so. Apple is trying to push itself into the same market which Intel is headed so the hope was that if enough dirt stuck to the product it would beat the competition even before it started.
One of the advantages of Apple having so many chums in the press is that stories like this get written and repeated on the web without anyone bothering to check. At the centre of the Big Brother claims is the idea that it has a forward pointing camera that does not have a shutter, which the tame apple press wants you to see as an always on spy device.
However cameras without shutters are old hat now. Samsung showed off their latest TVs that came with a camera, Microsoft’s Kinect devices never had them, neither did about 200M notebooks with a camera with no shutter. Intel will use the camera to automatically login the user and customise the experience based on their distinct needs and habits.
The video communications are local only and doesn’t “phone home” and it can serve as an intelligent parent filter because the telly can see who is watching it. Ironically Intel’s camera is opt-in and also provides a physical shutter that the viewer can close if they choose. This is much more than most of the camera orientated devices out there.