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Intel plotting TV service with facial recognition ads

Intel is reportedly cooking up a TV service that shows you ads based on facial recognition.

Intel is rumoured to be cooking up a 'virtual TV' service that would show you targeted adverts based on facial recognition.

The chip-maker is pitching a set-top box powered by Intel technology that would identify the people watching and potentially broadcasting ads specific to those people, Reuters reports. The rumoured box doesn't identify individuals, but could figure out whether viewers are adults or children, or determine their gender.

The report cites five people who have allegedly been negotiating with Intel for months, who reckon Intel is having a tough time getting media providers to offer networks and shows at a discount price.

TV isn't Intel's traditional stomping ground, but the California-based company has been trying new things recently -- showing off the first Intel-powered smart phone, the Orange San Diego.

Sources reportedly claim that Intel is looking to launch its video service before the end of the year, which doesn't give it much time. An original November deadline is apparently unlikely to be met.

The fight to control the tech in your living room is ramping up, with Sky and Virgin Media joined by the likes of Microsoft, which recently squeezed iPlayer onto the Xbox 360, and Netflix which arrived in the UK about six month ago.

Sony's Android-based Google TV is due to arrive here in September, while Apple is also rumoured to be crafting a TV set, which would doubtless use the company's iTunes library of movies and TV shows.

With so many companies vying for control, Intel would need to offer a seriously compelling service to compete. I'll keep an eye on what the chip chief cooks up over the next few months, and we'll see if this TV offering becomes a reality.

What do you think about TV that serves ads depending on your gender and age group? Should it not be allowed, or would you let the recognition tech into your living room if it meant cheaper telly? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.