For us a mirror is not only a household item, but also a high-tech gadget. Until recently, smart technology in the manufacture of mirrors was only available abroad. Now it has spread in our country as well. If you order the gadget from an official manufacturer, it will be expensive. But it is possible by simple manipulations to assemble a smart mirror with your own hands.
Characteristics and features
Smart mirror work on Windows or Android systems, which allows you to connect to a cell phone. It has become a useful assistant for the home thanks to a variety of functions:
- access to daily information: time, weather forecast, currency exchange rate, calendar with appointment reminders;
- cell phone connection: access to email and social networks, multimedia files, even online communication if the mirror has a built-in webcam;
- personal beautician: tracking skin changes, makeup tips;
- fitness trainer: he/she provides a workout selection and makes an exercise plan when connected to the cardio tracker.
Smart mirror system overview
Smart mirrors are used not only at home. Now such devices are becoming widespread in the following areas:
- in clothing stores, smart mirrors are gaining popularity, which provide an opportunity to see, without prior trying on, whether the chosen thing is suitable for the buyer. Smart mirrors give a hint on how to form a bow by offering possible variants of goods from the store’s catalog;
- In sports establishments they started installing smart mirrors. They work on the basis of linux, come with floor scales and are connected to the cardiobracelet. This device monitors heart rate, blood pressure, body weight, physical activity and displays all the data obtained on the screen. Interface based on the remote control.
- In cosmetic institutions, panasonic can make a mirror to order, which detects skin defects and suggests ways to eliminate them. They are ordered for the exhibition stands where they demonstrate the possibilities of cosmetic products.
- In marketing, such smart mirrors are installed instead of ordinary mirrors in crowded places (shopping malls, entertainment complexes, etc.). When a person approaches the mirror, contextual advertising appears on it.
- In the production of household appliances, smart mirrors are built into the doors of refrigerators and stove hobs. These technological solutions make it possible to implement the idea of smart multifunctional home.
Description of the technological features of the branded Smart mirror
The smart mirror operates on the basis of a single-board computer. It was chosen because of its small size and low power consumption. The bodies of the first devices were made on a 3D printer from PLA plastic. Then wood was used, since PLA plastic is very fragile.
This solution had a number of advantages: low weight, low cost, sealing when gluing the joints with hot melt glue. After testing revealed temperature increase, which negatively affected the work of software. Therefore the third version of the frames for mirrors was made of aviation aluminum.
The internal filling: a web-camera for face recognition, photo and video communication; a microphone and speakers to control the voice assistant, communication, listening to video and audio files.
To make a smart mirror, Windows 10 IoT was chosen as the operating system. This is due to the low-volume system, which in this device is enough to implement all the necessary operations.
The peculiarity of the interface is the optimized arrangement of the windows of all the applications used, so as not to overlap the reflection of a person. A voice assistant is used to control the system. This is due to minimizing the distraction of the person from his domestic activities and reducing the pollution of the screen.
Smart mirror with your own hands
Having considered all the technological characteristics of the factory product, you can try to make a mirror yourself.
What materials will be required
Mirror. This is the most expensive part of all the equipment. An ordinary one will not do. You can take a Gazelle mirror, but it adds weight to the construction. A mirror film on 6mm acrylic glass, transparent on one side, gives a good effect.
For a good reflection, you need to properly position light sources. Manufacturers of such films recommend observing the proportion of lighting of the front and back 1:8. This film gives the mirror a specific shade of amber color. It does not create distortion.
Display. It is chosen on the basis of the required size, taking into account the available funds, connectivity (HDMI, Internet modules, etc.). For good performance should choose a resolution of about 1280×480. Such a screen transmits 16.7 million colors – the norm for a smartphone.
Frame. How to make a frame is a very important question. This is the basis for fixing all the modules of the mirror. If you are proficient with carpentry tools, you can cut it out of wood yourself.
If not, order a ready-made frame in a picture framing studio, according to your size and from any material. You can also print on a 3D printer, but it will be fragile.
A board for Wi-Fi. You can run wires to allow your gadget access to the internet. Alternatively, you can purchase Raspberry Pi 3 or Raspberry Pi Zero Wi-Fi modules.
- Power source.
- A USB microphone with an extended USB cable for easy exlusion.
- Motion sensor
In addition to the commercially available materials for the assembly of the Smart mirror you will need parts printed on a 3D printer: speaker grills, motion sensor housing, power supply housing, adjustable display mount, LED mount, Wi-Fi module mount.
- Having prepared all of the above, you can proceed to the assembly of the smart mirror with your own hands.
- Glue the mirror to the monitor screen, pre-cleaning and degreasing the surface.
- Prepare the frame: drill the necessary holes for wires, ventilation, speakers, motion sensor and connect all fasteners to it. If the frame is made by hand, it is worth to paint it.
- Fix the frame to the display: it must fit tightly to the monitor. You can fix the joints with superglue.
- Installing the equipment: Wi-Fi module, power supply, webcam, motion sensor, speakers, LEDs, microphone.
- After carefully reading the instructions for all the equipment, move on to installing the software.
- If you choose a remote control to control the system, configure the interface.
By completing all the points of the plan, we get a multifunctional device weighing about 6 kg, which combines all the functions we need. With self-assembly is possible to improve and modify the device for yourself.
This process is quite a long one, so we put it in an extra paragraph. Let’s begin with the configuration of the software. If we are using the Windows 10 operating system we will use the “Rainmeter” application. With his help adjust the screen settings: resolution, screen saver (best reflects the black screen), disable sleep mode.
In the “Properties” menu, select “Auto-hide taskbar”.
Now let’s move on to the program list settings. Echo Dot, a configuration guide, will help us with this. Smart mirrors tend to set up: Clock Circle, Launcher News and RSS, Feed reader, Daily Fact and Quote Monstercat Visualizer, Calendar. You can supplement this standard list with widgets, specific to your needs.
Choice of interface. There are the following options for controlling your smart mirror:
- Amazon’s voice-activated navigation, which responds to your requests;
- wireless keyboard, to set up once and leave it as is;
- Touch mirror – used more often than others;
- Leap motion – gesture control. According to user feedback, it’s not very comfortable to keep your hands in the air all the time and not always accurate command execution.
If everything is set up as you need, you can mount the obtained Smart mirror on the wall. In the process of operation will still reveal small flaws in the location of applications or inappropriateness of the installed widgets. All these are little things that can be easily corrected.