Some Mannequins Have Secret Cameras

A few fashion brands are spying on customers through their clothing displays.

I’ve always thought the mannequins in clothing stores were creepy. Now Bloomberg gives me more reason to think so…

The EyeSee looks ordinary enough on the outside, with its slender polystyrene frame, blank face and improbable pose. Inside, it’s no dummy. A camera embedded in one eye feeds data into facial-recognition software like that used by police. It logs the age, gender, and race of passers-by.

Demand for the device shows how retailers are turning to technology to help personalize their offers as growth slows in the $245 billion luxury goods industry. Bain & Co. predicts the luxury market will expand 5 percent in 2012, less than half last year’s rate.

I wonder how it logs age, gender, or race, though. Doesn’t it have to guess? Or can we use some of these to stop carding people?

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