If you’ve ever had the sneaking suspicion smooth-faced mannequins were secretly watching you while you shop, you’re probably just paranoid. But you might also be right. According to reports by Bloomberg, some high-end retailers are already rolling out models that watch you shop with secret cameras.
These creepy, stalker mannequins go by the brand name EyeSee and are produced by an Italy-based company called Almax. While they look just as benign (but still creepy) as average mannequins, the EyeSee models have cameras hidden inside, cameras that can pick out your age, gender, race, and possibly whether or not you have a soul. They don’t actually store any images which — theoretically — makes them nothing more than weird CCTV cameras as far as the law is concerned.
The idea of using facial recognition on customers is far from exclusive to Almax, but while your average facial recognition cameras look like cameras, EyeSee mannequins add an element of stealth to the process that falls somewhere between creepy to nefarious on the stalking spectrum. So far, Almax says the dummies are in use by five companies in the US and Europe, some of which are reportedly pretty big name brands, so if you’re getting the feeling you’re being watched, it might be because you are. [Bloomberg via The Verge]