While you’re eyeing that new pair of jeans or new shirt have you ever wondered who has their eyes on you?
If you shop on-line it’s hard to get around being tracked. But a growing number of retailers are finding ways to watch you in stores.
In some cases, the facial recognition software can even detect your emotion. And with cameras hidden in places like mannequins you’d never even know it.
Max Catenese, the CEO of Almax, is the creator of a mannequin with a camera inside the face called Eyesee.
“The camera detects the sex of the person, what time he passed in front of the mannequin and the range of age,” said Catenese.
On the surface, it’s disturbing to shoppers who aren’t used to the technology.
“It’s scary. It really is to me,” said Mary McAbee in Spartanburg.
I’d rather they not track me,” said William Brock.
Catanese said when it comes to privacy “We don’t record any image.” So even though the camera does have facial recognition software, the data is not pictures, but more about what types of shoppers are there and for how long. It can even delete store employees from the software so the data is more accurate.
“In addition, you have to think in these stores where these things are placed, there are security cameras which do record images and do even more in terms of privacy,” he added.
Catenese confirmed US retailers use his mannequins, but couldn’t say which ones.
There’s also now software from other companies that monitor customer’s heart rate, pupil dilation, even facial expressions (though apparently not in actual mannequins since that is patent protected by Almax).
It’s all in an effort to judge everything from the appeal of a display to how much you may spend.
Data collected from stores that use software from the emotion detection technology firm Realeyes found that people who come in the door smiling spend 33% more cash than people who don’t.
Another in-store tracking is linked to your cell phone, but that’s only when you download an app.
“When I walk into the store it will ding and it will alert me of what the sales are,” said Kimberly Duckett.
Still no matter what the savings, some shoppers would just prefer it the old fashioned way.
“I’m just a private person. And I just think, it’s a little bit too much,” said McAbee.