We built something smart!
Creating a Smart Mirror
A while back I fell across a small blogpost about a google engineer who had created a simple smart mirror using a mirror pane and an old monitor.
I since thought quite a lot about how to go about building such a thing, and what you'd need for it and what you could actually use it for. Nothing ever actually came from it, since I didn't have the time or materials at hand.
Lately though I've been working on a BIG remake of our Demolab here at Innovation Lab, so I've been in a sort of makers-mode. So when I stumpled upon an old microcomputer I had laying around, I decided to give it a go with my own version of a smart mirror!
It took me a couple of weeks to set everything up, and to get the parts I needed, but after a lot of trial and error (It's necessary!) at the end, I had my own working Smart Mirror as you can see from this video below.
During the time I built this mirror, I realized that this devices can have some huge implications on our everyday lives. And as I have a huge interest in IoT-devices, this is really exiting - Not because it's an IoT-device par se, (I've already made quite a few of those) but more in regards to the capabilities we'll have with this technology.
We can actually get the latest news, check traffic, weather and calendar events while we brush our teeth. By adding voice interaction, we can even add stuff to our calendars, to-do's and so on - Though, probably not while brushing our teeth.
The smart thing about this smart IoT-device is that it is very very customizable. If you want pictures of kittens popping up, you can! But if you'd rather have a very detailed look at the latest NDA you'd probably have to sign, that's also an option (Although that might not the most interesting way to start your morning...) I vote kittens!
The point is, you're definitely going to see this in your own homes sooner or later (probably sooner) and it's going to be one of the most costumizable devices in your house.
With face recognition you can customize what to show to whom and when. And by allowing access to your calendars the mirror can even provide visual reminders of who, what and where durring your day. And for you to see your personal mirrorpane you don't even have to actively do anything but brush your teeth in the morning, or wash your hands durring the day - Even an iPad needs you to do more than that.
But best of all might be that it's not always there with you. In contrast to your laptop or smartphone, the mirror stays behind and you can leave all the things you don't need to worry about, at home.
Some might say that it's already possible to split up your private life and worklife, and yes, that is entirely possible, but you would actually have to work quite a bit to set it up right, so you don't miss anything important. With the mirror, you simply only put in your private calendars, to-dos, shopping lists, news tickers etc. and simply remove them from your workdevices, and you're all set.
You may be thinking "But hey, isn't that just like my computer or smartphone?" and yes, yes it is, but the difference is, on your computer and smartphone, you'll be doing everything else. On your smartphone you might be able to some extend, to view the same data on the lockscreen, but you are quite limited by the size.
Smart mirrors actually isn't anything new, and Corning, the company behind the Gorilla Glass which is on every smartphone available today, even made a video back in 2011 nonchelantly showing their idea of Smart Mirrors, though that was a pure concept video, but the idea was there. Now, 5 years later it's actually possible!
Now, the mirror is still very much in beta, as you can see from my video and the image above, but it's functional and it's completely doable. I still need to get it framed and stuff, but from next week, you'll actually be able to see it hanging in Innovation Lab's Demolab. I've already started thinking up a smaller version, which I can bring to events along with the rest of Demolab.
Build your own
If you're interested in building your own Smart Mirror, or simply want to buy a prototype, feel free to contact me, and we can have a chat about it :-)