I recently ran across an article by Clive Maxfield about a Magic Mirror. This is one of those clever ideas that makes you think “Why didn’t I think of that?”. It is simply a piece of one way glass that hides a computer monitor. When the monitor is dark, the glass appears to be a mirror. When the monitor is on, the image it produces is superimposed on the reflection of the viewer.
Clive got some of his supplies from diymagicmirror.com. Their system consists of an Arduino with firmware that interfaces to various sensors, including a proximity sensor, touch sensor, and a breath-a-lyzer alcohol sensor. The Arduino interfaces to a personal computer (Windows, Linux, or Mac OS) which drives the monitor to display the image in the mirror. The makers have a video on youtube that shows the mirror in action, and gives an overview of the software. In addition to responding to the presence of someone in front of the mirror, it can also tell you about the weather, report on your stock portfolio, and control your lights via X-10.
Once you get the idea you can look around and see that lots of people have done something similar with varying levels of sophistication. You can search Google or youtube for “interactive mirror” or “magic mirror” to turn up some examples.
Clive is building his own magic mirror, and will report the results in a part two article, hopefully in time for Halloween. I can imagine lots of possibilities for a mirror that incorporates a video camera, and image processing to modify the image before displaying it.
Design News Gadgeteer