Smart mirrors: More than just reflections

Smart mirrors: More than just reflections

By Gopi Kuppuraj

Two startups have developed a range of “smart mirrors” — panel displays that provide high-definition lighting, local weather information, hair, skin, and makeup videos, fitness personalization, and much more.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the smartest of them all?

Evervue USA Inc., a California-based technology company, has entered into the mirror business, developing a range of smart mirrors called Qaio. Qaio does much more than provide a basic reflection. It comes pre-installed with the Alexa digital assistant, in addition to a smart mirror app and clock developed in-house by Evervue. The five-millimeter-thick glass is synonymous with the screen, so the display, in 4K HD, transforms a “regular” mirror into an intelligent device when turned on.

Users can control the smart mirror’s assortment of functions using the Alexa voice control, including listening to music, watching makeup or skin tutorials, catching up with the latest news, and keeping an eye on the front door using a synced security platform. The mirror also has various inputs such as an HDMI port, a USB socket, and an audio jack that connect with any sound system. In addition, there is a wireless keyboard to search and navigate the display menu and browse the internet. The displays can also broadcast local weather, stocks, transit times, reminders, and notifications.

Lights, camera, action!

Qaio mirrors feature “True Light Technology,” a proprietary technology that allows users to set light colors in the tone they prefer (light shades between 2700K and 6300K on the light spectrum) so they can set the right light when applying makeup in different simulated environments. Instagram and other makeup apps can access the mirror’s HD camera to take a clear photo and video shots. The mirror can be installed anywhere in the house, including the bathrooms. A built-in night light with motion detector can help users find the way in late nights or darkness.

Fitness at home with a virtual professional trainer

Mirror is another company that has designed smart mirrors, with theirs being exclusively for fitness goals. Measuring 22 inches wide, 52 inches high, and an inch thick, this smart mirror is an LCD panel with stereo speakers. A microphone and camera built into the hardware allows for training sessions with a certified personal trainer, where the trainer can see the user and guide them through customized workouts.

Mirror comes with preloaded classes to try out depending on users’ fitness motivation or performance. Classes installed include cardio, strength, yoga, Pilates, barre, boxing, and stretch. Each of these workouts contains five levels of increasing difficulty. So if consumers hit their target goals, the mirror will “encourage” the users to try out a more challenging level. Or if users don’t hit their fitness goals at an expert level, it will recommend trying an intermediate or beginner class instead.

The mirror gives users the option of pairing with Apple Watch to track their vital signs. It can also connect with other wearables such as a heart rate monitor. Health data like pulse, calories burned, the amount of time left in the workout, speed, and comparisons with people who are taking the classes at the same time as the user are projected on the display.

What’s next?

Smart mirrors can disrupt panel display technologies as well as makeup, hair care, and skin care services and fitness industries. Makeup salons or skin care clinics and spas can install smart mirrors in treatment rooms to offer consumers an interactive beauty regimen. The tutorials can be used for skin care and hair care educational purposes. When mounted in homes, smart mirrors can help consumers to learn new makeup and skin care styles and techniques. The fitness mirror brings live classes to the home, where consumers can track their workout performance and other vital signs.

Smart mirrors are a part of smart display emerging technology that can be adopted in various fields such as gaming, photography, video, education, healthcare, and engineering simulation. These applications can drive market growth. However, the high cost of the smart mirror displays and lack of 3D technology and content could also hinder growth. But the scope of incorporating 3D display or virtual reality technologies in smart mirrors is sure to fuel further growth opportunity.

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