Mirror Mirror On The Wall…

Who wouldn’t want a mirror that compliments them first thing in the morning? [Michael]’s  Magic Mirror does this and more.  [Michael] got the idea for his mirror during an epic Macy’s shopping trip with his girlfriend. While looking for a boyfriend chair, [Michael] noticed a mirror with a lighted sign behind it. Intrigued by the effect, [Michael] realized he could build it – and build it better!

Back at home [Michael] set to work. The Magic Mirror uses a piece of one-way mirror, similar to infinity mirrors. Instead of LED’s and another mirror, [Michael] wanted to embed an entire monitor behind the glass. In order to keep the mirror thin, [Michael] needed a monitor with cables exiting toward the side or bottom rather than directly out the back. He found what he was looking for in an Iiyama monitor. Yanking the case off a brand new LCD can be a bit nerve-wracking, but [Michael] pulled it off in pursuit of a thin final product.

Magic Mirror’s frame is built with standard 2×4 lumber. [Michael] had the foresight to include some cooling holes for the heat generated by the monitor. The heavy 6.5Kg final product required a double mounting point.

With a good-looking case, it was time to get some equally good-looking data to display. [Michael] used a Raspberry Pi to drive his display. He switched the Pi’s display mode to portrait and installed Chromium  in kiosk mode. The entire mirror is essentially a web page. [Michael] used some simple HTML, CSS and Javascript to pull time and weather data down from various feeds. The page is rendered in a clean Helvetica Nueve Neue font with matching icons. A handsome build indeed!

31 thoughts on “Mirror Mirror On The Wall…

  1. I call ’em “guy chairs”. All the better stores have them, and a few of the stores really “get it”, going the whole way with comfy chairs, couches and side tables with magazines. Hey, the more comfortable we are, the longer she gets to shop…makes perfect sense.

      1. Ditto – both my parents worked at a newspaper for almost the entirety of my childhood. That I’ve lived at least 20 years with the wrong pronunciation of Helvetica Neue in my head and been none the wiser boggles my brain.

  2. Instead of going the expensive route, you can use 1 or two smaller monitors instead. Problem is CFL backlight monitors are junk so you need LED backlight, or better yet an OLED display.

    I always wanted to do this for customers in the bathroom behind the giant mirror overthe sink, embed in the wall a 15″ monitor that connects to a PC in the basement that shows the days appointments, weather, some news. but the problem is a giant mirror that has only a section that is one way is ungodly expensive, and a full 12 foot by 8 foot 1 way mirror is not very good for a bathroom. so instead we wall embedded behind regular glass into the tile work and it usually ended up in the shower that can switch to cable TV and the security cameras.

    1. I thought, why not use an old smartphone in one corner?
      Most people have an old smartphone laying around somewhere, if you put it behind the mirror hooked up to a charger.
      It has built in wifi, bluetooth, and other sensors.
      One smartphone in the top right corner would be enough to show the weather and time as he is doing.
      Also if you wrote your own app you could probably use the phones light sensor to only run the “mirror” when the bathroom light is on.
      And maybe voice commands?

      1. Build it in a dry place and seal it against the glass with something like caulking prior to installing. This would itself to very little moisture/condensation. (I say this as our humidity is ~6% outside) As long as no water/vapor gets in you should be safe.

  3. This is a bit like one of the many projects I have queued up in my mind. I was thinking along the lines of a 7″ tablet in one corner, leaving room for a heating element to defog it for shaving. Or maybe scraping off the silvering from part of a regular mirror and using an ePaper display.

    I must admit this looks very nice. Probably better than anything I’d come up with.

      1. Yes. I was talking about scratching off the silvering from a small part of the mirror so it was just glass and the ePaper display was visible behind. It definitely wouldn’t look as slick as [Michael]’s version but would be cheaper and would work with a display that didn’t emit light.

      1. Maybe not capacitive sensing, but a few years (decades?) ago one company made a device with load cells (force sensors) to put under the four feet of a CRT monitor. Pressing on the CRT face generated a different reading in each of the sensors, depending on where the pressure was applied. This was mapped to a particular part of the screen to move the cursor/mouse pointer.

      2. That’s actually an interesting design problem. Silvered backing would make sensors behind / on the back of the mirror hard – no rear capacitive and no FTIR.

        One could probably do a front mounted capacitive layer, or even sandwich one in the middle of two glass layers above the mirror backing. All the capacitive touch panels I’ve used didn’t handle moisture on the working surface all that well. Condensation would play merry heck with this in a bathroom installation.

        Old school resistive panel on front of the glass would probably work. How durable can they be vs condensation?

        Glass is pretty rigid, perhaps pieizo based microphones on the edges could be used to detect tapping on the mirror? Compute relative distances based on soundwave time of arrival to determine the point where one tapped?

        Too bad this isn’t CRT based – would be nifty / silly to build a light-pen into a razor or toothbrush handle ;)

  4. Horlyborkets Hormstar! That’s seriously class! Build scales into the floor and see your weight and BMI as you brush your teeth. Choose from a list of suggested meals provided by analysis of agenda and BMI. By the time you get to the kitchen its already been prepared by your foodstuffs 3d printer and networked sous vide. A la Caractacus Potts, or the Jetsons. Come on makers, you can build the house of the future past! It’s not too late to make PM’s predictions of the future into reality.

  5. Man, I’m glad i got my 55″ Samsung LED TV fixed and put back together before reading this. It’s like 1.5″ thick at its thickest point and has all ports at right angles. I needed a new main board after lightning got my directv dish LNB and my TV (the receiver survived of course). It would be perfect for this sort of thing. Talk about scary to mess with, all the strength in that thing is in the screen itself. The back panel is barely thicker than aluminum foil and just as flexable. I thought I would crack it before I could finish fixing it.

  6. This is great, the mirror even lies to you! (If it was honest when you looked in it in the morning it would say “You look like s**t!”) Could the next upgrade be to put a cheap web camera behind the mirror so it could recognize different users and give them customized mirror data?

  7. An alternative way to do this is with a HDMI Android dongle/computer and a TV/monitor with a HDMI input. You could use an all in one wireless keyboard to navigate.
    BTW this is still a cool build!

  8. I created something very similar for my engineering senior design project. We where using a embedded windows machine with a Microsoft kinect. It was capable of face recognition, gesture tracking, voice recognition, and some other things. It would display you facebook feeds, weather, news, twitter, health (fitbit), music and a bunch of other things. We used some cheap lcd monitor for the display and a small embedded windows system to power it all. All in in a nice wooden frame behind a mirror. Ill post a picture of it when i get home from work.

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