Intel is reported to be dropping the facial recognition feature from its Web TV service set-top box. This feature was intended to deliver customized programming to different family members. However, due to certain technical issues, Intel will do away with this feature.
In February this year, we reported Intel's plans to launch a Web TV service with a customized set-top box. One of the features highlighted by Mr. Erik Huggers, who is the corporate vice president at Intel Media, was the facial recognition capabilities of the device. He even mentioned the manual shutter for the camera, which can be used to disable the biometric feature easily.
However, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the camera doesn't function well in low-light conditions, prompting Intel to remove it. At the same time, Intel will avoid the contentious issue of the invasion of privacy.
Last month, Intel conducted a large-scale beta test of its set-top boxes with more than 2,000 company employees located in three different states in the US. Besides ironing out the technical hurdles, Intel faces an uphill task of capturing eyeballs. This is especially so in the wake of the Google Chromecast launch. The new device from Google is able to stream TV content; it also works with music too. It retails for only US$35; however, there is no news yet from Intel on the price and availability of its upcoming Web TV service.