Visualize the TV service you've always wanted: a gorgeous interface that does away with clunky (and often ad-strewn) programming grids; a simple remote that isn't a crushing array of buttons; a cloud-based DVR that doesn't require you to hit "record"; algorithms that learn what you like and recommend new shows; an easy sync with social networks; effortless co-viewing with friends far away; video on tablets, phones and other devices with screens; and the seamless integration of traditional TV and what's on the web.
Now imagine all of that comes in a beautiful box with a front-facing camera and the kind of industrial design that makes you not want to hide it in a cabinet.
This device is built. And it is in the hands of a select few secret testers at media companies, agencies and, of course, Intel's Santa Clara, Calif., headquarters.
"Now imagine all of that comes in a beautiful box with a front-facing camera and the kind of industrial design that makes you not want to hide it in a cabinet."
It's more like Intel doesn't want you to hide it in a cabinet it interferes with Intel's plans to use the camera and facial recognition to sell your data to third parties. Intel needs to wakeup to the growing concerns about privacy by consumers and public officials. Because of consumer privacy abuses by tech companies the State of California is considering legislation that will force companies to reveal all the information that has been collected on individuals and what has been done with it. Transparency will definitely put a damper on rampant privacy abuse and the profits companies make doing it.
If Intel thinks they can make a better settop box fine, go ahead, but stop trying to pitch the camera as if it's there for any other reason than the real one, which is to generate incremental revenue selling the consumer's personal data.
Learmonth calls it "the TV service you've always wanted." Based on conversations with people who have used it, he says it has "a gorgeous interface," a "simple remote," a better video recording system, and better social features.
The actual cable box is also good looking. So good-looking that you won't "hide it in a cabinet."
Michael Bologna, who leads advanced TV at Group M, a media-buying division of WPP, told Learmonth, "I'm impressed because Intel makes chips; no one expected them to come out with a product like this." (He got to use Intel's media device.)