WASHINGTON – Some shoppers are being watched by more than security cameras.
A new high-priced mannequin, known as EyeSee, is observing patrons in luxury stores, and is helping retailers better understand their customers.
Inside one of EyeSee’s plastic eyes is a camera that feeds data into facial recognition software, similar to programs used by police. The software records the age, gender and race of the customers it watches.
The information relayed from the mannequin helps retailers to see shopping patterns and even tailor specific displays of merchandise to specific types of customers.
In one instance, a store changed its displays after it found that men who shopped on the first two days of a sale spent more than women.
Another store discovered that many customers using a particular entrance were Asian, prompting the retailer to place Chinese speaking staff at that particular entrance.
At least five companies in Europe and the U.S. currently use EyeSee, which costs around $5,000. However, the Italian company that makes the mannequin says many more are in order.
WTOP’s Rosemary Frisino-Toohey contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.