Big Brother is coming. Intel's new chip has the ability to track what a viewer is watching. Which commercials he is watching. Which commercials he's turning off or reducing the sound. Another device can track you when you go to a movie, or shopping, or loiter in a book store.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Intel is putting Atom processors almost everywhere these days, with the latest target being televisions. The company announced a new Atom-based system-on-a-chip (SoC) design for television sets to make them the hub of social networking and interactivity.
Justin Rattner, chief technology officer for Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), introduced the Atom CE4100 during his keynote, the final keynote here Thursday at the Intel Developer Forum. The goal is to make the TV take on more PC-like function and interact with other devices so it can learn what the viewer's interests are and adjust accordingly.
For example, it knew what TV shows Rattner had been previously watching but paused in mid-viewing. When turned on another set he was offered the opportunity to continue watching the show, even though he was watching on a different TV.
Another, potentially disturbing element for privacy advocates, of the smart TV was it knew, thanks to a mobile Internet device (MID) Rattner had been carrying, that he recently visited a musical instrument store. The MID told the TV this, and among the different shows offered for suggested viewing were shows on guitarists. At the bottom of the screen were banner advertisements, one of them for a guitar store.
Add this ability to monitor television viewers (aka ObamaVision) to the California idea of a government agency turning off or reducing electrical power to "environmentally unfriendly" homes (homes with their air conditioners to "too cold" a setting) and we get a foretaste of ObamaHeaven. Watching, monitoring, supervising our lives all for our own good.
Or, combine ObamaVision with environmentalists' just-declared war on soft toilet paper and there won't be a room in the house to avoid the loving scrutiny of Big Barack.