Intel Media VP of Engineering retires shortly before product launch

Intel Media's Vice President of Engineering, Jim Baldwin, recently left his position at Intel Media, just months before the company is set to debut its Web TV service. An Intel Media spokesperson told GigaOM that "Baldwin left Intel Media to pursue opportunities outside the company.", however GigaOM discovered through Baldwin's Linkedin page that he has retired. Losing a key player shortly before its product is set to launch is sure to be unsettling for Intel Media.

Intel Media said to GigaOM that Baldwin will be missed, "but we have a very strong engineering organization in place with a deep leadership bench," that will make up for Baldwin's absence. Baldwin played a crucial work for Intel Media's TV project. He was previously a key player in the Microsoft Mediaroom project, where he stayed for 8 years. He worked on several other TV projects including WebTV Plus, Echostar Dishplayer, DirecTV, and Ultimate TV.

Baldwin was instrumental to making Intel's dream of launching its new Web TV service a reality. Intel Media's Web TV service will be a subscription service that will allow viewers to watch live TV, video on-demand, and also watch TV shows/movies that the viewer may have missed. Intel Media plans on launching the Web TV service in the U.S. by the end of the year.

Intel Media says that its Web TV service will be a game changer, but it has received some criticism from all around, mainly due to the camera installed on Intel Media's set-top box. The camera will be used to monitor whether a user is in the room, if the user is paying attention to the TV content, and the age and gender of the user. It will use the data it gathered to play targeted advertisements for the users, as well as offering suggestions on TV shows/movies the viewer(s) may enjoy. Consumers and critics feel that the camera is an invasion of privacy, however, Erik Huggers, Intel Media's CEO, defends the camera by comparing it to the Kinect devices millions of homes have, which people have no problem using.

[via GigaOM]