Mirror mirror on the wall… who’s my 9am, and what’s the weather like in Tokyo?
Sci-fi films have long been showing us household tech upgrades that could potentially alter our daily routines—wake up and read an e-paper like the one in Minority Report, or tap a button on the wall and instantly turn your bedroom into a 70s disco-club dance floor like the one in Ex Machina—little of it has actually rolled out to the masses in cheap, functional form. And while, yes, you can wake up and open your RSS newsfeed on your phone, or rig some kind of system of lights and speakers in your bedroom, the cool factor and the seamless integration just isn’t there. But it may be soon, at least in your bathroom, thanks to Google engineer Max Braun and his smart bathroom mirror.
Braun says that the idea for the tech came to him late in 2015, when he had the urge to make his “ordinary bathroom mirror…more like the [ones in the] future we were promised in the movies.” He specifically references the bathroom mirror from The 6th Day with Arnold Schwarzenegger as a source of inspiration (which you can check out, along with other images of Braun’s smart mirror in the gallery below).
The smart mirror’s display is only a couple of millimeters thick, and has been slid between a two-way mirror and the door of Braun’s medicine cabinet. It displays the time, date, and current weather as well as a 24-hour forecast, and recent news headlines. And while the UI is not interactive—no touchscreen here—the information on the mirror does update automatically, and there is an open-ended voice-search function for any other information that users may want access to.
The result of this minimal design is a super clean and simple piece of tech that not only integrates quietly into the background of an otherwise normal household item, but also provides relevant information when it’s needed. It perfectly augments the functionality of the bathroom, while not hindering its user with a whole bunch of cluttered buttons and annoying sound alerts. In other words, it’s technology from the movies brought to life. It’s cool. It’s stylish. It’s simple. But don’t look at what’s behind it. That’s where all the circuitry, wires and components are stored, and that part of the system… isn’t quite ready for its close-up. Yet.
What do you think about Max Braun’s smart mirror? Should he shut up and take your money, or are you happy to use your regular ol’ smartphone for this kind of functionality? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image: Max Braun