The internet of things promises to bring us some incredible innovations in the future. For some, like Google Engineer Max Braun, innovation is just not happening fast enough though. Braun believed that lack of innovation was the reason he had to look into a boring old “dumb mirror” everyday. What happened to the interactive smart mirrors that the movies have been promising us for years? Well, Braun decided to take matters in to his own hands and just build a smart mirror of his own. Spoiler alert. It’s Awesome.
Braun ordered a two-way mirror, a display panel and controller board, plus a bunch of components and arts & crafts supplies. He got to tinkering and ended up with a pretty magical product. The mirror shares the more simple information you can get from a Google Now card- the weather, news headlines, the date/time – all in a clean elegant format. To the right of where your face would be is the time, to the left all your weather/news headlines. Then baked into the mirror is an open-ended voice search for more complex tasks.
This is all just a prototype, and Braun has vowed to continue working to add more functionality and make the product even sleeker (the internal wiring is just a tad ugly). Right now the software is very simplistic, only a few hundred lines of code. He uses simple Android APIs to deliver the weather and news headlines, but he is hoping to add any information that you can find on a Google Now card – traffic, reminders, package details, etc. – to the mirror with some more software tweaks. He also is tinkering with different hardware behind the mirror to see which one works best. He started with a Chromecast, then to a Nexus Player, with the latest prototype utilizing an Amazon Fire Stick.
I am already incredibly impressed with this mirror, and honestly I need to have one. I hope through some further tinkering, Braun can really get this idea down solid and either have Google turn it into a product or open source it so all of us can get our hands on one.