Smart mirrors are no longer just a concept of science fiction movies and novels. This emerging technology is making its way into our homes and becoming a reality. Smart mirrors integrate connectivity and computing power directly into mirrors, thus enhancing their functionality far beyond the traditional task of reflection. Let’s take a deeper look into what smart mirrors are, their capabilities, and how they can transform our daily routines.
What is a Smart Mirror?
A smart mirror is basically a two-way mirror that functions as both a regular mirror as well as a smart display. It has a semi-transparent LCD or OLED display embedded behind the reflective glass surface which allows it to display digital content while still maintaining mirror-like reflectivity. The display is connected to an embedded computer system and powered by a battery or direct power source to run applications and connect to the internet wirelessly. Touch sensors on the mirror’s surface allow users to interact with the content and applications through gestures and touchscreen controls.
Capabilities of Smart Mirrors
Smart Mirrors come equipped with features and capabilities that make them much more than regular mirrors:
– Display of Information: The integrated display enables smart mirrors to show useful information like weather forecasts, calendar events, traffic updates, news headlines, and more without the need to check your phone or other devices.
– Interactive Applications: Applications allow users to do tasks like call transportation, control smart home devices, check security cameras, and more with just a tap or swipe on the mirror. Voice commands through integrated microphones provide hands-free operation.
– Customization: Users can customize the home screen, applications, wallpaper, and notification settings as per their preferences and routines through easy on-screen menus. Additional features can be added over software updates.
– Connectivity: Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth enables smart mirrors to connect to the internet and other smart devices for fetching real-time data and remote control functions.
– Entertainment: Features like streaming music & video services, social media, digital photo frames bring entertainment capabilities to the mirror.
Potential of Smart Mirrors
As smart mirrors become more affordable and their capabilities increase, here are some interesting ways they can potentially transform our daily lives:
Smart Bathroom Routine: The mirror can show your schedule for the day, latest news headlines, and music while you get ready. Voice control lets you adjust lights, control smart appliances like the razor, and more through simple commands.gesture control.
Smart Kitchen Assistant: In the kitchen, the mirror can show step-by-step recipes with videos, set timers, stream music or podcasts, and control smart appliances without using your hands. It can even identify items from the pantry and suggest recipes.
Smart Home Hub: The central location and always-on functionality makes a smart mirror an ideal smart home controller. You can view security camera feeds, lock/unlock doors, control thermostats, lights, and other devices with touch or voice.
Smart Workout Partner: Fitness mirrors can double as a virtual personal trainer by providing workouts, progress tracking, instructions through videos, and pairing with smartwatches or apps. Some even offer interactive classes.
Smart Shopping Assistant: Use augmented reality features on smart mirrors to try out virtual makeovers, accessories, furniture, and more. You could place virtual 3D models of products in your space before buying.
Challenges for Widespread Adoption
While smart mirrors present some exciting opportunities, a few key challenges still need to be addressed for their wider adoption:
– Cost: Quality smart mirrors with all the necessary components and latest tech currently come at a premium, excluding some cost-conscious consumers. Mass production can help lower costs.
– Durability: The embedded screens and electronics need to withstand moisture, dust, impact, and years of use without issues to match regular mirrors’ longevity. Reliability is crucial.
-Compatibility: Ensuring seamless compatibility of smart mirrors with an evolving ecosystem of devices, operating systems, and standards requires continuous updates and support from manufacturers.
-Data Privacy: As connected smart home devices, the security of personal data accessed or stored on smart mirrors needs robust safeguarding through encryption and access controls.
With continued advancements in embedded computing, computer vision, AI, and connectivity, smart mirrors are poised to become a mainstream smart home fixture in the next few years. As costs come down further and more useful applications are introduced, they have the potential to revolutionize how we interact with information and control our environments on a daily basis. The future looks bright for this exciting new frontier of smart mirrored technology.
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it