The internet of things is evolving quickly, with circuit boards, video displays, speakers, microphones, and of course, the internet, invading and intertwining with everything from our toasters to our shoes. And it seems that one of the most popular first stops on this inexorable march toward making everything in our lives “smart,” is the mirror. Google engineer Max Braun, for example, built a smart mirror earlier this year, and now web developer, designer and tinkerer Zach, has a made a similar gadget that adds voice commands, and even verbal responses that sound like a very primitive J.A.R.V.I.S.
In a recent post on howchoo, “a community centered around awesome DIY enthusiasts,” Zach outlined how he made the voice-controlled mirror using essentially five components: a two-way mirror, an LED monitor (ideally with built-in speakers), a Raspberry Pi (a cheap, credit-card sized single-board computer), Jasper (“an open source platform for developing always-on voice-controlled applications”), and a wooden frame to house everything.
[Images of these components as well as more images of the finished product can be found in the image gallery below.]
The smart mirror is capable of delivering tons of useful data for anyone getting ready to leave their house in the morning, including the date and time, the weather, upcoming events on one’s calendar, and even compliments — because sometimes what you need most in the morning, even more than a jolt of caffeine, is a boost of confidence.
Zach also posted his build on Reddit, and it was there that he said that he “kept seeing Magic Mirror posts… but the nature of mirrors collecting smudges meant that adding touch controls would be silly (also, super expensive). So I opted to add voice controls.” He also said that the project took him “a few months” to finish, but without documenting each step or making some first-time-only errors (like accidentally peeling the tint off the mirror with gaffer’s tape), he thinks the project could be finished in a weekend.
Although, for some of us who aren’t as tech savvy, this build could take much, much longer. Perhaps Zach or Braun should think about taking their mirrors to market, as we all want to hear from a robotic mirror on the wall how sexy we look in the morning — they just have to make sure the smart mirrors, unlike the “real” Magic Mirror, can lie sometimes.
What do you want to hear from or see in your mirror in the morning? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images: Zach via howchoo