Feeds

Italians deploy fearsome SPY MANNEQUINS to win Fashion Wars

Bony plastic ladies whose eyes really do follow you

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Don't think you can escape personalised adverts by switching the computer off. Luxury shops have started to use seeing-eye mannequins that harvest data about customers in the real world and - yes - target ads so they can sell more.

Packing technology that is used in airport security, the EyeSee mannequins from Italian company Almax can sense and log the gender, race and age of people as they walk into a shop, a report from Bloomberg explains.

Mannequin, by Polski: Manekin w Poznaniu

The mannequin, looking right back at you and deciding how to make you buy more shit

The peeping dummies then track how the customers move around the store, how long they stay and correlate that information with whether they buy anything and how much they spend. The images are fed into facial-recognition software which logs various attributes of the customer while keeping them anonymous. (Until it links up with Facebook at least.) EyeSee models don't store images, and can be used with a closed-circuit TV television license.

Various clothes shops have invested in the mannequins, which cost 4000 euros each.

Stores already use cameras that do this work, but mannequins work better, says Almax CEO, because the cameras are at eye-level and invite customer attention, as people are more likely to stand and look at it.

Almax plan to give the mannequins ears too, so they can "hear" what customers say about the clothes. Clients also sometimes ask for the model to log and discount store employees so they don't confuse the data.

The mannequins could serve up the equivalent of cookie-enabled adverts on screens placed next to the models - for example calling up items from the menswear section if determining that the person in front of it is a man.

Only a dozen have been sold, Almax tell Bloomberg, but the tracking company are confident that there will be strong demand for the EyeSee models.

Almax are a mannequin-making company based near Milan. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.