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Bennetton's Mannequins Could Be Profiling Shoppers

Image via <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-19/bionic-mannequins-spy-on-shoppers-to-boost-luxury-sales">Bloomberg Businessweek</a>
Image via Bloomberg Businessweek

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Benetton is among the few brands that have splurged on the $5,000 a head mannequins that spy on shoppers with facial recognition software. The implanted cameras aren't looking for shoplifters, however. They're logging gender, age, and race.

The technology, once used to identify criminals at airports, is now used in three European countries and right here in the US of A to help contour shopping experiences based on the creepers' mannequins' findings. Bloomberg reports that the company who sells the dummies offers success stories like "a clothier" that "introduced a children's line after the dummy showed that kids made up more than half its mid-afternoon traffic" and "Another store found that a third of visitors using one of its doors after 4pm were Asian, prompting it to place Chinese-speaking staff by that entrance."

While Bennetton declined to comment for obvious reasons (and the company that sells them wouldn't divulge names of its clients for equally obvious reasons), perhaps these Bennetton mannequins weren't as engrossed with each other as we thought.
Bionic Mannequins Spy on Shoppers to Boost Luxury Sales [Businessweek]
· Benetton's Erotic Yarn Art Offends Parents on Instagram [Racked NY]