Store Mannequins To Spy On Shoppers This Holiday Season

Do you ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? Some retailers will be using store mannequins to spy on customers this holiday season.

According to the SF Gate, the EyeSee mannequin will be used by several luxury stores to increase sales. Italian manufacturer Almax SpA says that the spy mannequins will help store owners arrange displays, store layouts and promotions to increase sales.

Uché Okonkwo, executive director of consultant Luxe Corp., said:

“Any software that can help profile people while keeping their identities anonymous is fantastic. (It) could really enhance the shopping experience, the product assortment, and help brands better understand their customers.”

Bloomberg reports that the mannequins are equipped with facial recognition technology and will be able to tell the approximate age, gender and race of people who walk by store windows.

So where will these creepy spying mannequins be? Max Catanese, chief executive officer of Almax SpA, said that he couldn’t list his clients. Catanese did say, however, that at least five companies were using a few dozen of his mannequins.

What do you think of the spying mannequins?

Some people have said that the EyeSee mannequins may be breaking privacy rules. Christopher Mesnooh of the Field Fisher Waterhouse law firm in Paris said that these hidden cameras are collecting information about people without consent.

Mesnooh said:

“If you go on Facebook, before you start the registration process, you can see exactly what information they are going to collect and what they’re going to do with it… If you’re walking into a store, where’s the choice?”

Catanese argues that the cameras do not store any images so as long as the retailers have a license for a CCTV they’ll be able to use the EyeSee.

Do you think a mannequin spy is creepy?

Well, it could get worse. Almax is currently testing technology that will give its mannequins ears so that stores can eavesdrop on your conversations.