Intel dabbling with palmistry for Smart Remote

Intel is working on a “smart remote” for smart TVs that will recognise the user.

By now we all know about the Kinect’s ability to recognise users and load up their profiles after they step in front of the camera. But what about picking up a remote?

With the Google TV and a slew of other smart TV and internet TV sets coming out over the next year, Intel is keen to offer users a device that will automatically recognise a user just by how they hold the remote, how much pressure they apply, and the angle it is held at.

It works due to a number of sensors located inside the remote, which can pick up the various biometric rhythyms and oddities that make us all unique. At least, we hope. The problem is if two people hold a remote very similarly and apply the same pressure, etc., will it load up the same profile? Or, indeed, what happens if you’re just a little on the tired side and apply less pressure this time – will it fail to load your profile?

That may not be a problem, according to Intel. The remote has an accelerometer for recognising movement, very much like a Wii controller, and it will apparently measure 372 different characteristics in the way we handle a remote. Intel’s tech gurus, who are possibly also palm readers, say these characteristics are different for every individual and act like a biometric fingerprint.

So let’s just say the remote actually recognises our hands. What next? With the merging of the internet and TV, particularly in the much hyped Google TV announced in May, there will be a lot more going on than simply channel surfing. Individual profiles will be needed for users, which will contain their favourite websites, music, movies, applications, and even such basics as the background art. The Intel remote will load up your profile with all of these things based on its intimate knowledge of your hand.

Currently the remote has a 70 percent chance of correctly identifying the user, which isn’t bad, but we suspect the Intel palmists will need to brush up on their chiromancy a little more before releasing this device to the public.