Store Mannequins With RFID Tracking Now Recording Everything You Do (VIDEOS)
A well-dressed, picture-perfect mannequin stands still in a middle of a department store. She looks like any other life-size figure you’ve seen, except she can see and hear you.
It has cameras for eyes, audio recording capabilities, an embedded computer to analyze shoppers’ faces, and a modem to upload the data to a server. Called the EyeSee Mannequin, it’s meant to provide more data to retailers and department stores about shoppers, says its creator.
“The EyeSee can tell if a shopper is male or female, his or her age range, how much time you spent looking at it and its outfit,” Max Catanese, the CEO of Almax, told ABC News. The EyeSee can also tell the ethnicity of shoppers.
The goal, as you might assume, is for stores to know more about who is shopping and looking at the displays. How long you looked at one mannequin versus others, how many types of shoppers come into the store, etc.
“The potential is huge. A store can really know who their client is. Let’s say you have eight floors and six floors are for women and two are for men, but you find out 80 percent of the shoppers are male. You want to change the ratio and switch it,” Catanese said. The computer inside the mannequin captures data about each of the shoppers it sees and then uploads that to a portal, so that the store can see the statistics.
But while it feels like spying and a real invasion of privacy, it’s not meant to be, says Catanese. The EyeSee does not store any images or record video. It also doesn’t record audio, though it will have the ability to listen for trends soon.
Almax and the Eye See Mannequin from Now The End Begins on Vimeo.
“It might capture soon the keywords between people. Say, you are in front of a mannequin with a blue dress, and you say to your friend, ‘It would be wonderful to have it in red,’ ” he said. “It will capture the words and analyze the words; not record it.”
So, when will these mannequins start analyzing you? They might already be. Not only does Almax sell the EyeSee to stores oversees, it already has one client in the U.S. “It is already in some stores in the U.S., but I cannot disclose the client.”
Of course, many stores don’t beleive in tracking shoppers in this way. Bloomberg reports that stores like Nordstrom and Benetton are not sold on the technology. Almax will be showcasing the high-tech mannequin in New York City in early December, hoping to get more stores to feature them.
When asked if the mannequin could analyze faces or emotions, Cantese said, “There is some technology that is starting to give data like that, but it isn’t advanced enough to give information about happiness, etc. In the future we will have it.” source – ABC News
This story of the Almax Mannequin is from 2012, but our next report is from December 13, 2013. The future has arrived.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Big Brother could be at your favorite store.A growing number of stores are using discrete and sophisticated technology — including mannequins with facial-recognition cameras hidden in their eyes — to track shopper demographics in an effort to boost sales. Retailers say the marketing data technology allows them to cater their business to customers better, but it’s also raising privacy concerns.
Alfonso Perez built a system called Shopperception that Walmart has utilized. It uses motion-sensored cameras to track a shopper’s product choice on a shelf and the time it takes to make a decision. Perez’s business has doubled in the past year.
“We have evolved in the way in which we want our products tailored to our liking,” Perez said. “The brands and retailers are using this information to learn about us, to learn about what we like,” he added.
But what about privacy?
Many developers of the technology contend their products don’t cross the line and say they’re far less intrusive than the everyday surveillance, such eye-in-the-sky cameras on the streets, that we’ve grown accustomed to.
“We don’t store any information about anybody,” Perez said. “We process the information real-time.”
Experts argue that the high-tech marketing systems are needed more now than ever for brick-and-mortar retailers because of the increasing popularity of online shopping.
Joel Reidenberg, a professor of technology at Princeton University, said retailers have tried to keep the technology use quiet.
“If the retailer is unwilling to be transparent with what they’re doing, the way they’re collecting information, how they’re using that information, it says they know their customers will be upset by it,” Reidenberg said.
“We have to decide, do we draw the line?” he said. Some shoppers admit the technology could change where they shop. “Still think it’s an invasion of our humanality and who we are as people,” said Bella Milizia. “It’s a little creepy,” one woman told Champion. source – CBS New York
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