Do you sometimes wonder whether the mannequins in shopping centers and malls might actually come alive one day due to some serious form of magic, or being part of a government conspiracy? Well, we might be moving slightly closer to that day of the latter, considering how certain stores such as those under the Benetton Group SpA umbrella have decided to install EyeSee mannequins in their premises. These EyeSee mannequins certainly live up to their name while having a secret task – that is, to monitor the store using a camera that has been embedded into one of the eyes, while using the rest of its body to parade the latest fashion craze that Benetton wants the world to wear.

These visuals will be fed into facial-recognition software, where it is capable of logging in age, gender and race of the people it observes. Originally, such technology was meant to identify criminals in crowded public areas such as at airports and train stations, but it seems that retailers have found a different use for it, to help them personalize store offerings. What do you think of such an idea – it is rather unnerving for us, knowing that mannequins do see what we’re doing. Better make sure I quick that nose picking habit whenever the missus goes out shopping for clothes – a mannequin might be watching!

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