The next time you gaze through the storefront window at that fashionably clad mannequin, know that the mannequin might be staring back. Just in time for the holiday season, a special crop of mannequins outfitted with bionic eyeball cameras and identification software is being deployed at select luxury stores around the U.S. and in three European countries.
The new bionic mannequins have a leg up on video cameras hanging from the ceiling when it comes to spying on shoppers — even if the cameras cover every square inch of space in your favorite clothing store, mannequin makers say. That’s because their eyeball cameras are equipped with state-of-the-art facial recognition software that identifies the age, race, and gender of passers-by. Plus, they’re mannequins: They draw our attention naturally, which gives them a better shot at seeing your face.