Storefront mannequins spy on shoppers to boost sales

Mannequins illustration 
By: Anika Rao 

(Scroll down for video) Store front mannequins are designed to show off merchandise sold in the store in order to catch passersby's eyes, and get passersby to come inside and shop.

Now, mannequins will have another purpose. They will watch people and collect data.

High end fashion boutiques are rolling out "EyeSee" mannequins equipped with spy technology in order to monitor shoppers inside and outside their stores.

The $5,000 mannequin has helped store owners adjust display windows, store layouts and help with promotions to keep consumers coming through the door and spend more money.

The EyeSee spy mannequin is made by an Italian manufacturer named Almax SpA. The EyeSee mannequin will collect data about potential customers. Cameras are inserted in the eyes of the mannequin, which then feeds the data to a face recognition software similar to that used by the police.

It records the age, gender and race of passersby and potential customers. The stores hope to find out who is interested in their products, so they can better serve their customers.

"It is creepy. You would not expect a mannequin to be observing you," Luca Solca, head of luxury goods research at Exane BNP Paribas in London, said.