Design Review: Smart Mirror

I originally wanted to create an infinity mirror for my project but after more research I stumbled across smart mirrors. These really caught my eye and I eventually decided to create a smart mirror instead. Not only are they really cool, but they serve a good function and I could see my girlfriend using one almost every day. Luckily many of the design aspects of the infinity mirror are used in smart mirrors. They are essentially a two way mirror with an LCD panel behind. When the screen is off it looks like a regular mirror but when you display bright text against a black background, the mirror comes to life and the text really looks like its part of the mirror. Here is an example:

I want to achieve a rustic yet luxurious aesthetic so I decided to go with a frame made from wood and a dark stain to give it the luxurious feel. I will also be using high quality pine to really get the best surface finish and details exposed once stained. Another one of my goals is to have it hang on the wall. To achieve this I will have to make a very slim frame and use a slim LCD panel is well. My current goal is to have the entire mirror’s thickness less than 2.5″. I have already purchased an LED 23″ monitor off craigslist and removed the plastic bezel to create the thinnest possible screen. A lot of the electronics were held in by the bezel so I used some trusty CU duct tape to secure everything in place.

I have also taken precise measurements of this display and created a SolidWorks model of it so that I could make a frame that fits nicely around it.

With the dimensions of the screen, I was able to laser cut the acrylic two way mirror exactly to the same size to ensure a snug fit. My next step will be to purchase a Raspberry Pi 3 to run Magic Mirror (open source modular smart mirror platform) and start customizing that to look just the way I want it to and run the most useful widgets. The last step will be to purchase all the lumber needed, cut it to length, assemble the frame, sand the frame, and then stain the wood. I sampled 4 different stains on a test piece and decided to go with a darker stain to help achieve the luxurious aesthetic I am looking for.


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9 Comments. Leave new

  • Scott Lowenstein
    March 17, 2017 7:07 pm

    This is a great project idea! It looks like you have already made some great progress! I like the rustic-like aesthetic matched with the high-tech nature of the smart mirror. It will be interesting to see what types of programs you end up running on the mirror. Keep up the good work!

  • This is gonna be sick! I’ve toyed with smart mirrors in the past but haven’t gotten started on anything. It’s interesting that you’re going to be combining a tech product with a wood veneer… how do you plan to maintain a consistent aesthetic across the physical aspect and the digital? Your inspiration photos are mostly white text on black background, so it’s very utilitarian; but this project is supposed to be aesthetics-first, function-second, so what are some ideas you have for putting the artistic interpretation first and foremost? Can you have animations or swirls or lines and curves or something as the mirror is powering up or in a sort of sleep-mode? How can the very useful information be displayed in an artistic manner?

  • Alexandra Rivas
    March 17, 2017 12:28 pm

    This is very interesting! The acrylic mirror you passed around is so cooooooool. Its like magic. haha.
    Its really nice that it is hidden in plain sight but still totally functional. This seems really ambitious, so good for you!
    The capability with Netflix or Youtube would be really neat.
    Like professor said, wood isn’t an aesthetic, so I’m just curious to know what the final look would be. It is interesting that something that seems so sleek and high tech would be paired with a wood frame. Wood just personally makes me think of…preindustrial? It could be an interesting contrast.

  • Cyron Completo
    March 17, 2017 12:27 pm

    The application of functional technology and plain aesthetics in this project is ambitious, I’m eager to see how you put this together! I would like to put my own smart mirror together at some point.
    It’s great that you’ve already put some of the electronics together and assembled some of the LED display. I haven’t seen an application of the Raspberry Pi in this class yet so I’m excited to see how this project progresses.

  • Ridhvik Gopal
    March 17, 2017 12:27 pm

    I really like the idea of having a smart mirror integrated with apps. The possibilities are endless. How do you plan to power the device? A DC battery or an AC outlet? The proximity sensor is a very smart design choice and I appreciate the skills needed to make this device.
    Your aesthetics are also well conveyed and I am excited to see where you will go with this. Kudos!

  • Siddharth Nigam
    March 17, 2017 12:25 pm

    Iteration is always good. Smart mirror sounds like a great idea! I am excited to see where you go with this and I want to do something like this too! Open source is the best! A combination of diy and open source is always full of creativity. Where would the sound come from if you’re only using the screen? I think it’s cool that you’re blending an old rustic wooden aesthetic with a modern magic mirror platform.

  • Emma Hammerton
    March 17, 2017 12:25 pm

    This seems like a really complicated project — I’m excited to see how it comes out! Your constraints seem realistic, but I do think it will be difficult to stick to a low budget for this project. I like that you have thought about how you want to expand its functionality in the future. The rustic aesthetic is very interesting — I would have seen this project in more of a futuristic aesthetic light. Very cool project, I hope it goes well for you!

  • Gautham Govindarajan
    March 17, 2017 12:24 pm

    I like your idea of combining the Aesthetics of old and new looks into your project. You can also consider adding some art works like inlays to your frame. That could give a more old fashioned look.

  • Morgan Ulrich
    March 17, 2017 12:22 pm

    Do you know how much the two way glass will cost? Can you source it from Resource? I’m super pumped on the idea that you can watch a makeup tutorial on the mirror. Game changer.


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