What is a Smart Mirror
What is a Smart Mirror

Mirrors are commonplace, but smart mirrors are a little different. Smart mirrors are becoming increasingly popular in both residential and retail settings, yet most people have no idea what they are. A smart mirror is a gadget that works like a mirror but also adds something to the image via virtual or augmented reality. It can be a camera and screen that creates a virtual avatar that mirrors you, a screen that overlays an image on you without producing an avatar, or a mirror with a screen that shows information behind it.

Smart mirrors that may be used as virtual changing rooms are currently available in some stores. It is possible to provide an example of what an item of clothing will look like or, in more advanced versions, what other hairstyles and colors might look like utilizing a full-length screen and a video camera.

Basic versions employ a virtual avatar whose movements are synchronized with the users’ using camera and image recognition algorithms. The avatar can then be outfitted with clothing from the store to get a sense of how it would appear. Avatar-based models aren’t ideal because they don’t provide the user a sense of how something would look on them, but rather on an avatar that matches their movements.

Smart mirrors are a type of augmented reality device.

Advanced versions employ image recognition algorithms to overlay product images onto the user’s actual image; some take still images, while others can do so in real time. While this method requires a lot more processing power, it is far more effective and can provide a user with a much more realistic representation of how a product will appear on them. Because smart mirrors alter real-life images of the user, they can also be used to try out new hairstyles or colours to see how they look on you. Some opticians have the capability to allow you to virtually try on the selection of glasses, which is a comparable feature.

Other smart mirrors don’t use a camera at all, instead relying on a screen hidden behind a two-way mirror. This allows the image from the screen to be visible via the mirror while not interfering with the typical reflection, thanks to careful design. Smart mirrors are designed to provide greater functionality over traditional house mirrors. Many smart mirrors of this type are handcrafted by hobbyists, but there are also pre-built options. The two major ways to do this are to use a Raspberry-Pi linked to a stripped-down computer monitor or to use an Android tablet or smartphone running particular apps.

The open-source MagicMirror2 software is commonly used in Raspberry-Pi-based smart mirrors, and it supports a wide selection of optional modules that add features such as weather reports, news feeds, inspirational quotes, and more.

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Every device nowadays appears to have a’smart’ version. Smart watches, smart TVs, smart refrigerators, smart speakers, and even smart lights are all available. Let’s have a peek at a cool smart device called the smart mirror.

A Smart Mirror is a two-way mirror with a built-in display on the back side of the glass. On the mirror’s surface, the display may display anything you wish, like the current time, weather forecast, news feed, upcoming appointments, and more.

Smart mirrors are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from small table mirrors to full-length bathroom mirrors. Smart mirrors are also known as ‘Magic’ Mirrors, however the terms are interchangeable.

The smart mirror I constructed for my bathroom is shown below:

The bathroom has a large smart mirror

This webpage will explain everything I learnt while making this mirror so that you can make one for yourself.

What Can A Smart Mirror Help You With?

The capacity to display any information you choose on a Smart Mirror is what makes it “smart.” Local weather predictions, news bulletins, your forthcoming calendar agenda, social network feeds, and other information can be displayed on a smart mirror.

You can also use Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home Assistant to add voice commands. You can ask your mirror questions, make reminders, and manage other smart devices in your house with voice commands.

This is what my smart mirror says when I come into my bathroom as an example of what it can do:

  1. Today’s date, time, and date
  2. The current weather and the week’s prediction
  3. Headlines from a satirical news stream
  4. My calendar on Google

You may easily configure a smart mirror to include whatever information you wish. Many people are creating custom modules and programs to enable smart mirrors to perform various tasks.

What Are Smart Mirrors and How Do They Work?

A smart mirror consists of three parts: a two-way mirror, a display, and a computer device. Let’s have a look at each component and how they work together to make the smart mirror work.

A typical mirror has a film behind the glass that reflects 100% of the incoming light. A two-way mirror has a film behind the glass that reflects 100% of the incoming light. When you look in the mirror, you see your own reflection. A two-way mirror reflects light from one direction while allowing light from the opposite direction to pass through.

You’ve probably seen two-way mirrors in police interrogation rooms in movies. Two-way mirrors are used in smart mirrors to allow light from the display to pass through.

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A monitor screen/TV/tablet is hidden behind the two-way mirror. This is where any information or modules for your smart mirror are shown. It is possible for the display to be the same size as the mirror, or it might be smaller.

Various sized displays are used in smart mirrors throughout this website.

Something has to run the content you view on your smart mirror, and that something is a computer. A smart mirror can be powered by a small computing device such as a Raspberry Pi.

What kind of computer equipment you’ll need is determined by what your smart mirror will do.

The Benefits of a Smart Mirror

It’s difficult to comprehend how valuable they may be until you use one, as it is with many smart products. The ability to display useful information without having to launch apps or do anything is a major benefit of a smart mirror.

All you have to do is stare at your smart mirror to get the information you need.

As an example, imagine your bathroom mirror is a smart mirror. You probably brush your teeth or get ready for the day every morning while standing in front of that mirror.

Imagine being able to gaze in your mirror while going about your morning ritual and seeing a traffic report, the weather forecast for the day, and your daily agenda.

It’s incredibly liberating to be able to absorb all of this useful information without disrupting your daily routine. You may personalize your mirror to show whatever you like.

Do you want a topic-specific news feed? Easy. Do you want to keep track of stock price changes? Done. Want a daily quote to motivate you to go for a run every morning? You figured it out.

The modules and software that other people have already written are a huge benefit of developing your own smart mirror. You can use hundreds of different modules that other people have made for your smart mirror.

You may completely personalize your smart mirror by selecting the modules you want to use.

A Fantastic Home Attribute

By far the most talked about feature in my home is the smart mirror I have in my bathroom. It gets more attention from my friends and family than the secret gateway I constructed into a bookshelf or the pinball machine I made.

Everyone who sees it for the first time walks out of the bathroom with a wide grin on their face, as if they can’t believe their eyes.

That may appear to be an exaggeration, but believe me when I say it isn’t.

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This is what someone sees when they go into my bathroom:

In the bathroom, there is a large smart mirror with LEDs.

As they enter the bathroom, a sensor in the mirror activates the LEDs around the mirror’s edge, lighting up the entire space.

The photo above was taken at night with only the mirror as a source of illumination.

The smart display turns on when they approach the mirror, presenting whatever I have programmed it to show.

The photo above doesn’t do justice to how stunning this simple device makes my bathroom look.

Some of my friends have commented that it gives my home a futuristic atmosphere. It looks significantly better than it did before, and it was a lot less expensive than a normal bathroom renovation.

The thing I’d like to emphasize is that, when done correctly, a smart mirror can be a fantastic addition to your house.

Features of a Smart Mirror

The beauty of making your own smart mirror is that you can tailor it to your own needs.

Here are some examples of features you might want to include in your smart mirror:

  1. Adding a touch screen to your smart mirror allows you to interact with it.
  2. LED illumination: a simple LED strip wrapped around your smart mirror can offer some lovely accent lighting to your space.
  3. When you enter your room, your smart mirror will switch on automatically due to a motion sensor.
  4. Ask your mirror questions or give it orders with your voice.
  5. Face recognition: your mirror can determine who is present and tailor the material to each individual.

As you can see, your smart mirror gives you a lot of options. Throughout this page, you’ll discover articles and information on various methods to set up your smart mirror and adapt it to your needs.

Is it Difficult to Make a Smart Mirror?

Building a smart mirror, while it may appear difficult, is actually rather simple. This website offers all of the information you’ll need to create your own smart mirror.

Depending on the features you want in your smart mirror, you could put one together in a weekend or take several weeks.

You don’t need to know programming to build a smart mirror thanks to the step-by-step tutorials and articles on this website. While smart mirrors are relatively new, many people have built them in recent years.

All of that information can now be found in the articles on this website.

If you’ve always wanted your home to have a futuristic feel like in movies, making your own smart mirror is a terrific way to do it.

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Evangeline Christina is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cyberspecial.net. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter in a reputed news agency.


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