Retailers Are Watching Customers Using Mannequins With Eye Socket Cameras

As if store mannequins weren't creepy enough already, some retailers are peppering their storefronts and shop floors with dummies that have a camera embedded in a single eye socket, that will watch while you shop.

One such model is the EyeSee, sold by Italian company Almax. Bloomberg explains that high-end fashion outlets find the shapely plastic clotheshorses are better than store security cameras at logging customer info like age, gender, and race, because they're at eye level, and customers tend to pay attention to them more.

But will squeamish shoppers go out of their way to avoid the unblinking stare of the watcher mannequin once they've wised up to its game? Maybe the feeling of being tracked isn't too bad, now that we're used to websites tracking bits of our data as we browse. But the in-person (in-plastic?) scrutiny kind of gives me the chills—and I'm not alone, according to the reactions I received on Twitter:

What do you think? Creepy or cool? Tell us in the comments section below.

Image: Flickr user SebastianDooris

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated that Benetton was among the stores that used these mannequins. Benetton says it does not use this technology.

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3 Comments

  • Beach G

    This will put a damper on those guys that like to expose themselves to the mannequins in stores.....

  • Night Owl

    Ads a new twist to watching shoplifters! Or maybe an old twist - I think they've had these for awhile now. We just didn't know it!

  • Tushar Gokhale

    Busy Lane - Mixing Product Display, Security. Rendering Security Camera Setups & Mannequins Investment, Redundant