Is Something Watching YOU

Here’s something I’d describe as being very close to the top of the creepy scale…

Do you ever get that creepy feeling that store mannequins are … watching you? Well, that feeling may now be justified. Italian display form company Almax has recently introduced its EyeSee line of mannequins that are equipped with cameras and microprocessors in their heads. EyeSee Store Mannequins are gathering intelligence on shoppers.

The idea behind the mannequins is that they could be located in storefront windows or specific areas of the store, where they would gather demographic data on the customers. Using facial recognition software, they can reportedly determine things such as a person’s age range, gender and race. The mannequins will also keep track of the number of people to pass through a certain area within a given amount of time, and how much time each person spends there.

Almax suggests that store owners could then use that data to develop targeted marketing strategies, to place salespeople in the parts of the store with the highest traffic, to see what times of day are busiest (and with what sort of customers), and to gauge the effectiveness of window displays or the popularity of displayed items.

Needless to say, privacy concerns are definitely an issue. According to the company, all the data is processed within the mannequins, so no outside computers are involved, and nothing is transmitted. Nonetheless, that doesn’t change the fact that the mannequins would actually be watching you – and scrutinizing you.

The EyeSee mannequins were designed and are manufactured by Kee Square, a facial recognition tech company affiliated with Politecnico di Milano.

This particular company has also developed a product called Morpheus ICAO which is another facial recognition program where the typical applications include human examination of facial images, verification of identity through comparison of facial images, computer-automated face identification (one-to-many search and one-to-one match) All are applications geared towards government and TSA surveillance.

I can only assume that these mannequins will make their way to the United States very soon and then… how long will it be before they’re all networked together and sharing data with their corporate home offices or our government agencies. CREEPY…..


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