Let’s admit it, we are vain creatures. We created “selfies,” a term and a whole market space around the concept of taking photos of ourselves and making the world look at them. But in order to look good in selfies, we spend countless hours of preparation in front of mirrors; brushing, shaving, combing, picking, smearing, applying, wiping, trimming, picking and flexing. So it would only make sense that our mirrors did a little more than just reflect our gorgeous selves back at us. That has been the focus of “magic mirrors.” These kits and projects turn the mirror surface into an interactive display. Things like news and weather can now greet you in the morning as you stumble in half asleep, using every brain cell to not confuse the bidet for the sink… again. Despite a lack of real-world consumer products, some people have gone ahead and made their own. What’s more, some of them like Michael Teeuw at Xonay Labs and Max Braun, an engineer at Google, were good enough to post instructions and code for everyone to make their own. These have received a lot of attention on the web and Microsoft has decided it is time that we could build a magic mirror running on their operating system.
The concept is similar to the previous projects. You essentially have a monitor attached to the back of a mirror and all the work is done on Raspberry 2 or 3 running Windows 10. But this one does have one great differentiation: the inclusion of facial recognition. This means the mirror could display different information depending on who is standing in front of it. Using your imagination, you could also theoretically use it to trigger user-specific playlists on connected speakers, set alarms, adjust lighting and temperature, etc.
Microsoft first demoed the project at their Build conference in 2016.
The instructions are not very simple and you definitely need to know your way around Visual Studio. But if you’re up to the challenge, Microsoft has provided all the pieces you will need to build one of these in the links below. If you are planning to take on the project we would love to see and share these with our readers so hit us up on social media with your thoughts and ideas.