STORE MANNEQUINS LOOKING US OVER, AKA SPYING

Big Brother’s new look

Italy’s Almax is selling its $5,000 EyeSee mannequins to retail businesses interested in reducing shoplifting—and enhancing sales.

One eye in the dummies contains a camera with facial recognition software, allowing it to log the gender, age and race of shoppers.  Uche Okonkwo, executive director of consultant Luxe Corp, says the mannequins “. . . could really enhance the shopping experience and the product assortment and help brands better understand their customers.”

An unnamed retailer added a kids’ clothing line after determining that more than half of its afternoon customers were children.  Another EyeSee user placed a Chinese-speaking staff member by the store’s entrance after learning that one-third of its late-afternoon patrons were Asian.

Almax reports that currently, five stores are using the mannequins and have more on order.

Bloomburg reports that “a few dozen” EyeSee mannequins are used in stores in Europe and the US.

Nordstrom isn’t one of them.  The company believes that using facial recognition software in stores crosses privacy boundaries.

But that doesn’t discourage Almax.  Their next model of mannequins will be able to record customer’s comments

Sources:  SmartPlanet Daily, November 23, 2012    Mashable, November 20, 2012

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