we had a 13.3inch Magic Mirror with a Raspberry Pi 3B. In a student project, the students replaced the Raspberry Pi 3B with a Raspberry Pi 4B. Unfortunately, the students forgot that both devices require different amounts of amps. So our MagicMirror broke after a good half year.
Now we are looking for an alternative. What we have are a 24 inch and a 32 inch touchmonitor. One of the two should be it in the end, because we really want to use the mirror as a real mirror in a bathroom.
So the monitors would be in place and we have spy mirror films. Which one we take exactly we do not know yet. The transmission should work well both during the day and at night or with the lights on and off. But we are also flexible.
Now our students have written a few AI applications that are very practical and good to use. Hence the Raspberry Pi 4B instead of the Raspberry Pi 3B. Among other things, it was about image processing and face recognition. With the camera which you attach above the mirror, we are certainly also more flexible and would not have to resort to the RPi camera.
We have already seen that the frame rate goes down decently and the Raspberry Pi is busy when there are more than 3 people in the bathroom and captured by the camera.
I think since we have two very expensive monitors, even a Raspberry Pi would be very underpowered and would actually not do the whole thing justice. The consideration here went in the direction of mini PCs. There are some significantly more powerful. One disadvantage we have are certain connection options.
Again, the camera doesn’t matter. You can also use USB cameras for image recognition. Hopefully, almost all mini PCs have USB ports.
What we would also like to add is an HC-SR04 sensor. This ultrasonic sensor is to detect when a person is in front of the mirror. Only then should the monitor be illuminated.
What we don’t want to do without is a voice input and a voice output. On the Raspberry Pi, Waveshare has connected the WM8960 sound card driver. We would need a solution for this as well.
The advantage of the Raspberry Pi would be the use of GPIO pins, which allows us to use the HC-SR04 and the WM8960. Perhaps there is also a better way than using the WM8960. I also think that extra speakers might be better than the monitor’s speakers.
One possibility would be to connect the Raspberry Pi otherwise via USB to TTL serial to the Mini-PC. Then you could still use the HC-SR04 and the WM8960 and use them via a Raspberry Pi. Presumably the Raspberry Pi would also boot faster than the Mini-PC and the hardware connected there could be used without any problems.
Personally, however, a single computer would somehow also be easier to maintain and more maintenance-friendly.
There are certainly other little things like USB hubs, LAN splitters or any cabling to consider. An alternative for the Raspberry Pi would be very important for us and it should take into account how we could manage voice inputs, voice outputs and distance measurements with it. If there is something more clever for this project than using the WM8960 , then we will gratefully accept this tip.
Thanks in advance!