Smart Mirror – A new perspective for a smart home

No time for reading the newspaper or getting updates early in the morning?

Don’t worry! Here is an amazing way to get updated without dropping your phone in the bathroom ;).

Max Braun, a Google engineer, introduced his smart mirror to the world on 30th January 2016. It can display the time, news and even weather forecast while doing bathroom chores. In short, the smart mirror can convert your bathroom into a smart bathroom.


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Max Braun’s smart mirror

How is the smart mirror made?

The smart mirror is made up of a two-way mirror. A two-way mirror is basically a panel of glass that can be seen through from one side and is a mirror on the other.

two way mirror


batman two way mirror
Two-way mirror

The display panel is built-in the panels of a two-way mirror. The display panel is a very slim monitor. It is a few millimeters thick so it can fit easily in the two-way mirror.

The 8mm thin display

Fire TV stick is used to control the display of the smart mirror. It is plugged into this controller that converts the HDMI output of the Fire Stick into display data that can be transmitted through a 40 pin cable. The data displayed on the mirror is obtained using Android APIs.  All the circuit panels along with the wires are positioned behind the display, and the entire setup is given one small single push switch for turning on and off.

thin smart mirror google
It is pretty thin!

To prevent the distraction of the user the smart mirror is made up of only a single color that is the display is monochrome but there will be a slight change in color if the weather is cloudy.

Braun had done a series of experiments before he was satisfied by the prototype. He says that it is a work in progress and wants to add Google now cards to the smart mirror for getting traffic updates, birthdays or event reminders, and even voice searches.

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The finished prototype

When is it going to be released?

Oh, hold your horses there! It is not a commercial product yet. It is just a personal project undertaken by someone who works at Google (Mr. Braun). I do hope that it catches the attention of the folks at Google X and they make it a reality. CES this year was packed with displays, and smart screens of all types and in all locations. So this mirror could soon be out in the market for you to buy! Fingers crossed!

Is this mirror the first of its kind?

No! Many similar mirrors have been built over the years. As a matter of fact, Braun got inspired to build this by looking at similar projects across the internet.

Can I make one too?

Sure! Here is a link to a website where you can find a small tutorial on how you could start making one. It does not dive into the details, but it is enough to get you started! Here is another one. And another!

Meanwhile, we can all just admire this futuristic concept from Cornell and give wishful thinking a chance!