What is in this article?:
- Are Consumers Ready for a TV that Watches Back?
- Big Brother as Big Marketer
This new interactivity opens up possibilities for advertisers who will be able to develop more targeted pitches, but raises some of the same privacy concerns of data collection on the Web.
LAS VEGAS -- In the new world of technology, television is not just for watching. It is also watching you.
So-called smart TVs being unveiled this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show offer technologies that watch the viewer, in an effort to offer more relevant programming.
The idea may sound eerie to those familiar with George Orwell's novel "1984," but people in the industry say this is the next step in the evolution of TV viewing.
Chinese manufacturer TCL unveiled at the show a new TV and set-top box to be sold later this year in the U.S. using the Google TV platform which recognizes who is watching in order to suggest potential programs.
The new TV developed with Marvell Technology Group uses sensors and voice recognition to determine who is viewing and can offer streamed or live programs which appear to appeal to an individual or family.
"We have developed many innovations to personalize the viewing experience," said Haohong Wang, general manager in the U.S. for TCL, a major global manufacturer which has made TVs under the RCA and Thomson brands.
This offers a "game-changing entertainment experience for consumers around the world that will drive the smart TV market forward at a rapid pace," said Weili Dai, co-founder of Marvell.
Panasonic (IW 1000/31) also used CES to show its new Viera smart television which can recognize users and create a home screen allow programming tailored for each.
Other manufacturers are working on similar technologies that take advantage of television over Internet.