Sunday, 25 November 2012

uncanny valley or listening-post

As if the bad economy, crowds and the potential for violence were not reason enough to keep one out of the stores, a business magazine reports on a development that may well become standard for traditional retail outlets—retrofitting mannequins, which are always creepy even when not cursed or endowed with a positronic brain, with bionic eyes and ears to spy and eavesdrop on customers and conduct market research in the field. Trade spokespeople were predictably ebullient about the cyborg mannequins’ ability to collect shopper demographics and find new prospects, brick-and-mortar establishments feeling at a disadvantage to on-line sales for not having customers’ hearts (buying habits) worn on their sleeves and hope the silent sentinels can gather new insights about effective displays and the influences that ultimately wins over one purchase over another at the rack or in the dressing room.