Camera-Equipped Mannequins Placed in Stores

If you have this odd feeling that mannequins are watching you while shopping, you may not like this news.

Some retail stores have reported set up mannequins with cameras embedded into one eye. The mannequins, called EyeSee, uses facial-recognition software to log age, gender, and race of the customers they see. The technology was originally meant to identify shoplifters, but why the need to identify race with that rationale is beyond me.

Thankfully, retailers such the Benetton Group have other ideas. The company uses EyeSee mannequins to personalize offerings of each store. For instance, one store found out that majority of their shoppers after 4:00 p.m. are Asian, so it fielded Chinese-speaking staff members by the entrance during that time period.

Manufactured by Italian mannequin maker Almax, the EyeSee has been available since last December and is currently used in three European countries and the United States, although major retailers like Nordstrom and Burberry have publicly stated they do not have such mannequins in their stores. Future versions of EyeSee might even have the ability to “eavesdrop” on what customers say about the mannequin’s outfit.

Source: Bloomberg, via Engadget

Image Credit: Elvert Barnes

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