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Ross and Burbank

Mannequins may be watching you

Mannequins used to be something just observed by humans. But now some are observing us. (Image courtesy Almax)

Most understand the purpose of mannequins in a store as displays for you to look at, but a new type of mannequin will actually be looking back at you.

The EyeSee mannequin developed by a company called Almax is built to observe customers and how they interact with products or displays.

A camera in the mannequin’s head is connected to software that can provide stores information on passersby reactions and provide statistics on the number of people who walk by.

“Some people think this is creepy,” says Ross and Burbank Show host Dave Ross.

The mannequins can provide retailers details on the age range of visitors, gender, race, and the time spent observing the display.

The idea is that the data collected, including info on facial expressions, can provide data on attractiveness and appropriateness of displays for the audience viewing the mannequin.

“It makes perfect sense they would do it with a mannequin,” says co-host Luke Burbank. “Probably because of some basic humanity that is ingrained in us, you probably tend to look at the mannequin’s face because that’s just what we’re used to doing when we’re dealing with human-like things. It’s probably the most reliable place where they can get a scan of your face.”

Almax says the technology respects shoppers’ privacy and doesn’t hold onto images of the faces analyzed, but simply passes along the data.

But some retailers are still not on board. ABC News reports Seattle-based Nordstrom is not sold on the technology. But Almax reportedly already has one client in the U.S. so the new mannequins may already be watching you somewhere.


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