It’s been around two years since Googler Max Braun created his first DIY smart mirror and now he’s got a sleek new version of his original creation. In the new build, Braun ditched the half-length above-the-sink mirror for a counter top stand mirror. That could be seen as an improvement in and of itself since it opens up a variety of new placement options. However, Braun wasn’t content to stop there. Instead, he opted to improve his homemade device with a number of other enhancements ranging from a better display material to the inclusion of a camera and LEDs. The result is a mirror that can take pictures, light up, and which just works better in general. As with the last time, Braun has also laid out the process for building the mirror so that intrepid technology lovers might be able to manufacture their own.
Of course, it goes without saying that this type of build is not for the faint of heart. It requires quite a lot of work in terms of both software adjustments and hardware. Having said that, the build starts with a standard tabletop mirror to use for the device’s shell. After peeling away the mirrored film from the glass and stripping out the interior, an Android tablet (specifically the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0) was reshaped and placed into the mirror’s frame. The process also involved rigging USB charging through the back of the mirror’s frame when routing the charging through the base of the mirror failed. After installing a custom-built PCB light ring around the edges, with no fewer than 32 LEDs, Braun placed a glass two-way mirror over the top of the tablet. That was custom-fit, as well, with black adhesive cardboard and tape surrounding the tablet’s display to give the mirror a unified background. Bluetooth LE is used to connect an Adruino board to the tablet to control the LEDs and custom software controls the display itself.
The result of his endeavors, as shown in the images below, is a mirror that actually functions as a mirror but also takes selfies, and provides a user with information about the weather, traffic, and calendar events. The LEDs can be adjusted for color preferences and some specialty software allows for just that information to show through. It also allows the mirror to take a selfie when its owner flashes it a smile. Coupled with its connectivity, that puts it squarely in the IoT smart home category. The only question remaining is how long it’s going to take for manufacturers to get around to making these devices so that people don’t have to build them for themselves.