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High-tech mannequins used to spy on shoppers

November 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Some stores are starting to use mannequins that spy on customers with eyes that are a lot more than they seem.

Those beautifully-dressed life-like mannequins in store windows often cause us to stop and stare, but what if they were looking back at you?

"I think it's pretty scary, It's kind of like big brother. They're staring at you when you're most vulnerable," said shopper Amy Morales of Alhambra.

An Italian firm has come up with a new high-tech mannequin called EyeSee, which looks like an ordinary mannequin but has a camera embedded in one eye that captures images of passersby.

It is equipped with facial recognition software capable of logging a customer's age, gender and race. Retailers can use the information to tailor their products, promotions and window displays to consumers most likely to make purchases.

Some say that kind of profiling raises legal and ethical issues, and they aren't buying the idea.

"You're just kind of checking [the mannequins] out. You're getting fashion ideas, but you're not there to be recorded. That's crazy," said shopper Dahlia Dallal of Beverly Hills.


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