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Mannequins spy on shoppers to boost sales

Shoppers beware: More and more mannequins are equipped with spy tech that’s helping retailers relieve you of your hard-earned money.

The EyeSee mannequins from Italian firm Almax SpA use facial recognition software to identify the age, gender, and race of shoppers who pass them by. The data allows retailers to tweak their marketing strategies, according to Bloomberg News

One retailer, for example, adjusted its window displays to catch the eyes of more men during the first two days of a sale after mannequin-derived data showed men spent more during those days than women. 

Another store decided to place Chinese-speaking staff near a particular entrance after 4 pm each day once it learned that more than a third of its visitors entering there were Asian.

The mannequin was unveiled in 2010 at a trade show. It is now being rolled out at high-end stores around the world such as Benetton Group, Bloomberg reports.

Similar facial-recognition technology is standard fare in overhead cameras at casinos, but its move to eye level and hidden behind slender human-like forms and cash registers could help brick-and-mortar shops achieve a level of personalization commonly available to Web retailers via cookies and user profiles.

 – via Bloomberg News 

John Roach is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. To learn more about him, check out his website. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured video below.