In Some Stores, Mannequins Are Watching You

Trend is new, but one maker is already selling 'bionic' ones
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2012 9:29 AM CST
The mannequins are in Brazil, so they can't see you. Yet.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

(Newser) – Here's something to creep out your shopping experience: Store mannequins might be watching your every move. Bloomberg reports that Italian mannequin-maker Almax has begun selling a version whose eyes are cameras. This isn't about trying to curb shoplifting, though. The idea is to more closely track shoppers' likes and dislikes and adjust displays accordingly.

It's a step beyond the usual closed-circuit cameras that watch from above, and Bloomberg rounds up the opinions of privacy advocates who think the idea of spying for commercial gain, as opposed to security, goes too far. Almax isn't saying which chains have bought the mannequins, only that a "few dozen" are in use in the US and Europe, with more on the way. (Not that online shopping is much better in terms of privacy.)

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