If you’ve ever had that feeling that you’re being watched while shopping in a clothing store, you might’ve been right… and it may be the mannequins! In a twist that seems to have come straight out of a script from Minority Report or Total Recall, an Italian manufacturer named Almax has designed a new mannequin that keeps an eye on your shopping habits. It’s called the EyeSee, and it can be used to keep tabs on you using video cameras and an internal processing unit.

So what kinds of data do these gawking mannequins acquire? When placed in a storefront window they can use facial recognition to determine various traits about passers-by. They can determine the gender, age and ethnicity of individuals from that facial feature data. It also counts the number of people passing by to determine which hours are the busiest, and it can even keep track of how long someone spends in the store – all very useful information for marketing purposes!

The software can be used to gauge how popular a certain display is, by keeping track of how many people look directly at it. It can be used to ascertain at what times your store is busiest, allowing you to staff accordingly, and you can even determine which parts of the store are busier than others and at what time, allowing for more effective allocation of staff resources.

This will also give you the information you need to run the most effective sales promotions that bring in consumers. Once you have more info about who your consumers are, you can tailor the store to their needs and keep them coming back again and again.

Privacy is naturally a concern with these mannequins, however the manufacturers are reassuring the public that none of the information is transferred as the mannequins themselves process all of the data. With that in mind, someone would literally have to steal the mannequin to gather any private info from it. I guess that’s pretty reassuring… unless you’re still freaked out by that Doctor Who episode with the homicidal mannequins.