No dummy: This mannequin is spying on you

The EyeSees have it: Almax’s spy mannequin watches shoppers in Europe and the U.S.

(Credit: Almax )

When you’re maxing your credit card on Black Friday, creepy store mannequins might actually be eying you.

Retailers are deploying mannequins equipped with cameras that watch for shoplifters and record shopper behavior to improve sales.

The EyeSee mannequin from Italy’s Almax SpA is being used with facial-recognition software that can identify the age, race, and gender of shoppers and record how long they spend around a display. Almax says the technology doesn’t violate shoppers’ privacy.

Following their launch last year, several dozen of the dummies are now being used in shops in Europe and the U.S. and dozens more are on order, according to Bloomberg.

The $5,130 EyeSee has a shock-proof polystyrene exterior, but the camera in one eye gathers footage for facial-recognition software that’s similar to what law enforcement uses. Unlike ceiling cameras, it’s at eye level and provides a better picture of who’s in the shop.

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