Nightmare Come True: Mannequins Are Alive & Watching You Shop

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If you tell your therapist that mannequins are spying on you while you shop, you'll probably be handed a strong prescription or maybe just carted off to your local lockdown facility. That's why you should come to your session prepared with a printout of this article.

A number of brands are employing "bionic mannequins" to spy on passers-by and customers in their brick-and-mortar shops. They're called SkyNet EyeSee, and an Italian company is selling them for $5,072 to observe customers — but not, as you might expect, to catch them shoplifting. The mannequins are actually monitoring consumer behavior and collecting data that can help stores present their merchandise and design their windows in the most appealing way possible.

Luckily, these creepers won't be able to capture your identity in any way, so that's a little worry off your shoulders. A number of very interesting insights have come from these mannequins, including one retailer that started a children's line after noticing the amount of children that came into their store, presumably accompanied by adult shoppers. Right now, only five companies are using the devices, but orders are coming in all the time for more. That said, as the popularity of this sneaky surveillance rises, legal and ethical issues are bound to surface. (Business Week)

Would you have a problem if you knew the mannequins were watching you shop? Or, is this a fair way for retailers to collect data and improve the experience?

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Image via Business Week.