You Are Not Alone


A source of mine recently clued me in that retail stores across the country are going to be beefing up security, but not in ways we have previously experienced. Many are actually installing seeing-eye mannequins that will be watching your every move.

The intention is not to see you naked when trying on new clothes or watch you dance in front of the dressing room mirror. This is more about getting a fix on the type of customer shopping their stores. They want to know age, sex, and race.

If online retailers get the privilege of knowing your profile while you are shopping on their sites, why shouldn’t traditional stores know who is browsing their floors?

One of the new “dummies” that is making its debut now is from the Italian maker Almax. The $5,000 EyeSee mannequin contains cameras in both eyes. The cameras are connected to facial recognition software that analyzes faces, classifying them by age, sex, race, and ethnicity. The cameras can also detect when the store is getting crowded, and what products or clothing are attracting the most attention.

Almax claims pictures will not be saved or transmitted. The shopper data is simply aggregated without a record of specific individuals

The facial recognition technology was developed by Italian company Kee Square, a spinoff from the Polytechnical University of Milan.