... a hitherto unimaginable direct dialogue between advertisers and consumers.
Licking their lips are marketers who spend billions on TV advertising but really don't know who's in the room when their ads air - or whether their intended audience is busy with a magazine, mobile phone or iPad.
The techology will enable advertisers and TV programme executives to know, for the first time ever, which members of a Nielsen household are watching a show or an ad. Better yet, Cisco has developed a system that reads facial expressions and determines whether viewers are entertained or bored.
As AdAge writer Michael Learmonth declares: "No mass marketer cares what's happening in any individual home, of course, but in aggregate, this data could give them new insight into how advertising actually works or doesn't work. As TV moves to the cloud and on-demand delivery, more accurate ways of measurement will be required to keep TV's ad model intact. You can imagine advertisers one day insisting on verification that an ad was actually watched to count as an 'impression'."
Advertisers have long known, of course, that many people in the living room are multitasking with other devices. "We're paying for that," said Rex Harris, innovations supervisor at Publicis Groupe-owned SMGX. "If you're looking at other screens, then you're not paying attention. We would like to know if we're getting accurate impressions."
Harris also believes that consumers stand to gain too. "The idea is, if the ad is more targeted to you, you will get more value out of it. "When your device knows where you are and knows what you like, it will be a more valuable experience for you."
However, while consumers will doubtless benefit from customised content, ease of use and a social layer on their TV experiences, the technology will equally certainly trigger a massive privacy debate.
When it comes to tracking consumers' behavior on the web, the biggest buyers and sellers of advertising are united behind the 'opt-out' approach.
Which in the case of this latest technology means that each consumer has to figure out and take specific steps in order to stop being tracked. How the industry handles TVs that can watch their own viewers could make the debate over web privacy seem quaint.
Forrester analyst James McQuivey believes the ad industry may be hesitant to engage the subject. "Who is going to dare talk about that first out loud", he asks?
Privacy advocates and lawmakers, suggests MarketingTomorrow?