Imagine having a mirror that responds to your presence, a mirror that tells you the schedule of whole day when you look at it while brushing your teeth. How amazing that would be!
Fantasized by such an idea we took upon ourselves to build such a mirror. So, before introducing our work, let’s meet the team members.
The inspiration for building a smart mirror came after reading an article on how a Googler built his own smart mirror using the components available to him. Merging our own ideas and possibilities that are there with the smart mirror we embraced ourselves and started to work on the prototype that would soon be installed into the maker space of IEEE NIEC.
The work started on Monday morning when we started jotting down the list of features to be integrated into our smart mirror and then progressed to assembling all the components together.
As soon as the components were all assembled the next thing was to get the UI up and running. The major issue while designing the UI was to make it integrate into the mirror so that it merges with the color tone and doesn’t appear as distinct.
After the UI part was done the next target was to integrate the different sensors into the mirror which were essential to make the mirror respond to the presence of the user. The first thing you will notice with the smart mirror is how it switches the UI when the user is in close proximity of the mirror. It took a whole lot of time to get the sensor to work with the mirror and much more time calibrating it to detect the proximity of the user.
After all this initial setup of the mirror it was time to integrate the display of current weather conditions and news feed for the user. Here the APIs from OpenWeatherMaps and New York Times came into rescue. The mirror updates the current weather conditions and newsfeed in realtime so whenever you see yourself in the mirror you get to see the latest updates.
The next thing to be done was to integrate the sensor which detects whether the door is open or not. This sensor can be installed at the doors of the user premises and communicates with the mirror through a wireless link. Whenever the door is opened or closed the door status on the mirror is updated to reflect the same.
The development of the mirror went on till Tuesday evening which included a night stay at the college to finish up the work.
At the end we had something which we felt proud to build because there is a different fun in building stuff in real instead of just reading onto things.