MagicMirror² v2.14.0 is available! For more information about this release, check out this topic.

Questions for Smart Mirror builders

  • Hi builders! Not sure if this is an appropriate place to ask, this isn’t really a question on how to build a smart mirror but I’m new to the smart mirror scene and wanted to do my own research. I thought the best way to learn more about it was to ask the builders themselves to get a better understanding on how they came about.

    I honestly just want to know more about it from your perspective but i do have some general questions that you could answer:

    • why do you build smart mirrors

    • how does it enhance your day to day lives

    • where do you see it going in the future ( eg. will it become a household norm / this question is up to your interpretation )

    • any other information or insight that you’d like to share about your own personal experience building / using a smart mirror

    Thanks in advance to anyone who answers!

  • Project Sponsor Module Developer

    Welcome to the magic mirror world!

    1. I built one mostly because it was a fun project that is both useful and makes you learn new things at the same time.

    2. Much more than I though it would do! My whole family uses it, especially to check the family calendar. I don’t know how we could keep track of all dates before. The second most used thing are the soccer training calenders for my kids. The team provides ical links, so those are updated automatically. Third most used module is the lunch menu for my kid’s shool. Then I have a bunch of other modules that I don’t look at that much. But for example it’s nice to be able to quickly get an overview of the days of the month and see the week number.

    3. Maybe not norm, but very common. The release of google hub and similar hints that a home display might be the future.

    4. If I would build one again, I might opt for just a screen without the mirror glass. I never use it as a mirror as I prefer the full body mirror that we already had from before. A regular mirror will always have a bit better reflection (unless you buy a crazy expesive OLED screen). This is because the back-light of the screen lights up the entire mirror from behind, even if the screen is black. You notice this the most when it’s dark where the mirror is. Also I want to fill up the entire screen with useful info, so there’s no space left for the actual mirror. 🙂 Altough it has a certain wow factor. So my tips would be…

    • First think about if you want a mirror or just a display.
    • If you go the mirror route, go with real mirror glass like Pilkington or similar. Investigate carefully on what to buy, there are several different models which lets through different amounts of light.
    • Don’t make the mirror larger than the screen. I regret building the frame bigger, as you can see where the screen is due to the back-light.
    • Also investigate which screen to buy… I just bought the cheapest one, but I think screen with more contrast will be better behind a mirror (?). Other people can probably contribute more on how much this affects your result. If you use an old screen, it might also be thicker.
    • Plan where you want to put the mirror in your home. I think a well-lit area is better. Also close to your socket. And where there’s good wi-fi.

    Where are you located? Depending on where, there might be open API’s that gives you access to local services like which day the trash is emptied etc.

  • @retroflex
    Thanks for replying, it seems like you had a ton of fun building your mirror! I’m from Singapore and actually, I already have a friend who built a smart mirror but I think it’s still under development. Most of the functions it has are about the same as a simple virtual assistant.

    You mentioned that the mirror actually integrates really well into your day to day, and it sounds really useful to have! I was wondering whether you thought the mirror is a better alternative to using your phone.  I would imagine since it’s always on hand a phone would be better, that’s actually why I asked these questions because I’m not sure how different having a smart mirror would be to compared to just having a phone. I’d also love to know what other modules you have, specifically the ones you don’t use very often.

  • @Snow_white i have an internet of things app that monitors a water source, in a location 60 miles away.
    i also have an app on my phone to view the results of that monitoring…
    but looking at my phone all day can be tedious…

    so I created an app to display on my mirror that displays the two most important charts…

    now when I walk down the hall I see the data… done…

  • Project Sponsor Module Developer

    @Snow_white Yes, I use it more than my phone because it’s always on and is in the hallway. Mine is always on, I just turn off the screen during night-time. The real benifit is when you are more than one person in the household… you don’t have to look at like five different apps for each person’s phone, the mirror just shows an overview of it all.

    For the other modules I did not mention…

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