By Antonio Pasolin
Doing your hair and brushing your teeth are chores that may become a little more interesting and fun with a new mirror that, besides reflecting, can also display emails, news threads, tweets, public transport times and all kinds of online data. That’s because a student team from the College of Science and College of Engineering at Purdue University has created a mirror that doubles as an information interface. Keeping up-to-date with bus schedules inspired the team to come up with the info-mirror.
Called MirrorMirror, the prototype was produced during BoilerMake2014, a 36-hour hackathon at Purdue University. It uses facial recognition technology that causes relevant information to be displayed when the user looks into the mirror.
“The mirror will display general information most of the time, but when it recognizes a user it will display their information such as emails or scores of the latest game,” says team member Nick Molo. “With our open development platform, anyone who has the ability to build an app can do so and share it with other users.”
The students also plan on the mirror becoming a central control for home automation products already found in many households.
The idea was well-received at Exhibyte, a computer science fair hosted by the Undergraduate Student Board of the Purdue Department of Computer Science, where the team won first place. The students’ next step is to work on the mass manufacturing of MirrorMirror during the summer.
Of course, some people may wonder why they didn’t just go with a conventional monitor, as opposed to a mirror. “We thought it would be nice to have some sort of display in the house,” says team member Matt Molo. “But we didn’t think people would want another monitor on their walls, so we made it a mirror.”