Feeds

Italians deploy fearsome SPY MANNEQUINS to win Fashion Wars

Bony plastic ladies whose eyes really do follow you

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.