Mannequins are a fairly disturbing real-world illustration of the Uncanny Valley: Basically, when something gets just human enough that it seems perfect, but gets the little details wrong, your brain freaks out. Of course, this is totally irrational. The mannequins are not watching you. Not until the EyeSee mannequin becomes commonplace! Then it’ll be watching you all the time!
Developed by Almax, the EyeSee mannequin is basically proof that there is nothing Batman villains won’t invent that some company won’t actually build, in the real world, and see nothing wrong with it:
The idea behind the mannequins is that they could be located in storefront windows or specific areas of the store, where they would gather demographic data on the customers. Using facial recognition software, they can reportedly determine things such as a person’s age range, gender and race. The mannequins will also keep track of the number of people to pass through a certain area within a given amount of time, and how much time each person spends there.
To be fair, this kind of thing is absolutely nothing that stores aren’t considering implementing in security cameras and other camera systems they have set up anyway to gather this data. And, if anything, this is actually a safer way to do it: The EyeSee doesn’t broadcast any information, and anything it does gather is processed internally.
It’s just that Almax took it upon itself to stick all this tech into a dummy, because they don’t understand the concept of “pants-crapping terror.” On the other hand, it’s nice to see that the hair-raising feeling you get from an overly realistic dummy is now totally justified instead of just being a weird phobia.