Google Engineer Creates The Smart Mirror We Not Only Need But Also Deserve


So here it is 2016 already and it seems like every other movie and TV show is something Sci-Fi and futuristic where we get to see all kinds of crazy awesome technologies that we don’t quite have yet. I’m not talking your Marty McFly hover kicks, either. I’m talking about our own personal Jarvis that displays the weather and the morning news along with top secret documents from S.H.I.E.L.D. Okay, maybe not the top secret documents. But you get the point. Perhaps it wouldn’t just be a see through display, perhaps it could be a mirror. A smart mirror, if you will.

RDJ smart mirror

Max Braun, an engineer at Google, had a similar line of thinking and decided one day that the future is now. His aim was less directed at the general display and more focused on remodeling his bathroom mirror to be a little more up to date. Taking ideas from Hollywood, Braun collected an assortment of materials to make the bathroom mirror of the future.

smart bathroom mirror

Well, it doesn’t quite look like that (and Braun is not an Arnold Schwarzenegger look-alike either). In fact this is what his most recent product looks like:

smart mirror bathroom

What you are looking at, aside from the remarkably well organized toiletries, is a two-way mirror, a display panel, and a controller board. Braun cites some extra components and some arts and crafts supplies that helped round off this DIY project. The display panel is incredibly thin and actually fits in between the two-way mirror and the door to the medicine cabinet, allowing for the cabinet to remain fully functional.

display panel smart mirror
It’s so tiny!

Now, as clean and stunning as the front of the mirror looks, the gadgets behind the mirror are still a work in progress, Braun admits. Here is a picture of the controls and his notes:

smart mirror behind the mirror
So many wires! Handle it! Also, get with the Star Wars Band-Aids, dude. Srsly.

The code behind the UI of this contraption is simply a few hundred lines of code Braun created himself, because engineers gonna engineer, and utilizes some Android, Weather, and Associated Press API’s. He states that he has experimented with different types of devices like the Chromecast and the Nexus Player, only to have recently settled on the Amazon Fire Stick, pictured above. Braun wanted the display to mirror (get it) what Google Now cards would display but keep the look clean to avoid everything looking messy and distracting. As much as we’re obsessed with them, the mirror isn’t a touchscreen either. It only has an open-ended voice search and the information is set to update automagically, so no fingerprints on the mirror.

While still not a finished project, the smart bathroom mirror not only looks great so far on the outside but it’s got a relatively easy set-up and cost of materials. Braun says he hopes to settle on a platform and “realize some of the remaining ideas” to make this a final finished product.

What do you think? Do you want a smart mirror of your own? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.

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