Smart Mirrors: A Simple Technology With A Hundred Purposes

What is a smart mirror?

The smart mirror may look like something out of Black Mirror, but it’s not much different from your standard touch screen display — and it’s much more convenient, attractive, and intuitive.

smart mirrors

Simply, a smart mirror is a mirror with some sort of electronic interface (such as an LCD screen) over top of it. They can be programmed to display weather, applications, voice control, temperature displays, and touch controls.

The mirror has been around since the 1800s, and it’s only natural that the technology already present in modern life combines with something so intuitive and present in our day to day life.

While a cell phone or laptop is complex enough for typical work/life tasks, a simple, lightweight, and user-friendly display such as the smart mirror, situated where you’ll see it every day, can keep you up – to – date and connected in a way only an Internet of things device can.

An Internet of things device, or IoT, is any device that’s connected to the Internet (think “smart device”), especially things that are otherwise mundane. Internet of things is anything from self – driving cars and smart cities to smart watches. Thus, a “smart” mirror is an Internet of things.

A smart mirror is entirely personalizable. Fitness smart mirrors make for a sleek experience — so many people already workout in front of some type of screen, it just makes sense to combine all of the watches, pedometers, and cell phones into one hands – free (or nearly) display. You can monitor heart rate, calories, miles, steps. You can check the weather or check your twitter feed.

Or a smart mirror works well in a bathroom — or near the front door, where you’ll pass it every day. Motion sensors come in handy there, for a screen that comes on when you want it.

While you can buy a smart mirror, a lot of people are moving toward DIY (do it yourself).

What’s in a smart mirror?

A small computer. Raspberry Pi is the most popular choice. It’s a single – board computer, about the size of a credit card, with its own wifi. A Pi is not like a conventional desktop (although people do sometimes replace their desktop with a Raspberry Pi). Raspberry Pi is multi – use tool for building and connecting, perfect for the relatively lightweight requirements of a smart mirror. Some creative uses include: learning how to code, connecting a printer to make it wireless, and controlling robotics projects.

A two-way mirror, preferably one ordered online from a manufacturer who can cut it to the dimensions you want. You can also use acrylic.

A monitor. LCD is the standard.

Some type of frame.

Various other tech, like motion sensors, smart speakers, other Internet of things devices, and LED light displays.

Or, an open source mirror platform for making your own smart mirror.

How much does a smart mirror cost?

A smart mirror bought through retail can cost anywhere from $150 for a small device (such as a handheld or stand up makeup mirror) to $400 and up for something full sized. DIY should cut costs down to closer to the $100 depending on where you source your materials (LCD displays can be taken from used computers, and there are cheaper single board computers out there — although this will most likely mean sacrificing abilities and functionality).

What’s the point of a smart mirror?

A smart mirror is more than just a convenient way to check social media and the weather while you work out. Having one can transform your entire life — or not, if that’s what you want; it can be an invisible part of the background or an integral cog in the way you experience life.

What if the smart mirror moves into stores? What if it becomes a staple in beauty salons, commercial gyms, supermarkets, or, to be spectacularly wild, the DMV? What about billboards? The technology is simple enough for do – it -yourselfers to master, and relatively cheap (all you need is a mirror, computer, display, and whatever odds and ends you want). Internet of things devices are already on the rise: most modern cars are not internet – accessible (some even have their own built – in wifi), and there’s no reason to think such a successful trend will go anywhere but up.

The estimated number of Internet of things (IoT) devices in the world last year was over fifteen billion, according to IoT Analytics. This includes wifi enabled, data using, and wired devices. Almost all websites guess that this number will continue to rise each year as more devices are invented, connected, and produced.

IoT Analytics predicts the Internet of things market, which was over a hundred billion last year, to grow by several billion units within five – to – ten years.

A smart mirror is just another example of this no doubt booming Internet of things market. A smart mirror could be used to stream movies or shows or live television. It could be used to display side – by – side pictures of what you want your hair or makeup or nails to look like versus what they look like now. Since Raspberry Pi has long been used in educational settings, it’s no stretch to think how much farther this versatile single – board computer can go when paired with the elegant simplicity of a mirror display.

Wherever smart mirrors go in the future, however they may or may not evolve, they’re available to make life simpler today, whether that means a smartphone – sized mirror on the bathroom cabinet or a body – length mirror in front of the treadmill.

Spread the love

Article Author Details

Melissa Crooks

Melissa Crooks is Content Writer who writes for Hyperlink InfoSystem, one of the leading app development companies in New York, USA & India that holds the best team of skilled and expert app developers. She is a versatile tech writer and loves exploring latest technology trends, entrepreneur and startup column. She also writes for top app development companies and top software companies.