In the fevered race to stick ‘Smart’ in front of just about every house hold item, one that actually seems suited for a little evolution – yet has remained stagnant – is the mirror. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that the weather, your calendar events or traffic alerts are all in a reliable place, viewable hands-free as you get ready for your day?
Smart mirrors are a favorite of the DIY market. You take an old monitor and connect Raspberry Pi (a credit-card sized computer), throw in a little programming and stick on a 2-way mirror on it. It’s not the most elegant solution but it is pretty customizeable. The down side is that 2-way mirrors are an either-or solution: Either highly reflective or highly transparent. So now you can read a text message but you have to lean closer to make out a now dimmer reflection.
Seura is putting a lot of resources into getting the best of both worlds, and offers a beautiful solution for embedding a TV into your mirror. They’re automation friendly, disappear when not in use, and come in frames that match most decors. Still, the concept has so much more potential than just watching TV. Viio takes another approach.
Viio mirrors dedicate the bottom right corner to three buttons. A Bluetooth button lets you DJ or take a call through embedded speakers, anti-fog does what exactly what you’d expect it to, and a lighting button illuminates an LED bar around your reflection for clearer illumination.
Designers are also turning to Kickstarter to bring smart mirrors to market. A makeup mirror with the selfie-friendly ring light that doubles as a reading light has reached its launch goal 34x over. The more feature-rich Perseus has also reached its goal as a plain but plug-and-play solution that includes voice recognition and video streaming.
All interesting approaches, but it’s only a matter of time before someone really nails the potential here. It should be simple but powerful, controllable by voice and with an uncluttered display. A camera would be nice but voice notes that sync with your phone would be fantastic.
Maybe we should make one. What would your ideal smart mirror be capable of?