Creepy store mannequin checks out shoppers for market research

Next time you see a hot looking store mannequin in the window of your favorite boutique, don't be so sure that it's simply there to entice you in. A new camera equipped mannequin from Italy means that it could actually could be checking you out, rather than the other way around.

The $5,100 EyeSee Mannequin from Almax has a tiny video camera hidden inside one of its eyes, which it can use to read the facial characteristics of passing shoppers. Demographics including age, gender and race can then be used to target the store's marketing to the types of customers being seen.

According to Almax one clothing store decided to introduce a kids line after noticing that half of the people looking in during the afternoon were children. Another store found that a large percentage of the customers using a particular door were Asian, so they positioned a Chinese speaking staff member near that door.

This all sounds a whole lot like that NEC NeoFace we saw last week, although EyeSee doesn't appear to be able to recognize individual customers. The creepy thing here is that they have embedded the tech into some hot looking mannequins. Imagine if you could combine the strengths of both NeoFace and EyeSee into one supreme system of customer privacy invasion?

Almax says that several retailers in Europe and the USA are already using EyeSee, although none were willing to be named. Burberry, Nordstrom and Benetton have explicitly stated that they are not customers.

Almax, via Bloomberg

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