One day morning, my roommate and I were getting up late. We are rushing for many stuffs in the morning routine: preparing meals, brushing teeth, making the coffee, etc. However, because of the limited time, we are frustrated that we still forgot many things: we didn’t wear enough clothes as we didn’t check the temperature; I also forgot to bring my resume for an important career fair at that day. After that, we found that many people are usually facing difficulties in the morning: some people have bad mood due to early wake up time; some people want to listen for music or podcast conveniently; some people have trouble estimated travel time to workplace. Therefore, all these difficulties inspired us to create JING, a smart mirror that could address user’s difficulties in the morning.

What it does

JING is a smart mirror that focus on improving life quality and daily routine. JING included several major functions and toolkits: weather, clock, events, news, habit tracker, sleep & productivity tracker, estimated time to workplace. When user using our products, all those information could be displayed at the bottom of the mirror, helping you better prepare for a fresh new day. To ensure better personalized experience, It incorporates blocks design that provide users flexibility on choosing their own blocks to improve the efficiency. Also, our smart mirror incorporates the Google Cloud pose control technology enabled by camera, allowing interactive functions for user to make simple gesture for switch blocks or unfolding blocks. Also, we made a welcoming page for our magic mirror with selected positive phrases and greeting sentences to help our user become more positive and prepared for their new day.

How we built it

To first built our JING prototype, we started for building our product by purchasing a 21 inch monitors and an acrylic sheet. We covered the monitor with acrylic sheet to reach the reflective effect that form our first prototype mirror. For the software part, we built from scratch and all frameworks for our smart mirror. We used html to make the User Interface for the mirror with marvelous design. With python and javascript code supporting our html webpage, we adopt all APIs across different server, including but not limited to weather, date, and news. Moreover, in addition to all those features above, we also implemented a real-time motion sensor based on Google Cloud PoseNet to provide a fascinating user interaction with images.

Challenges we ran into

As a team with little experience on Hackthon, one of our biggest challenges is organizing all the works in to the limited time ranges. Since all of our team members are more preferring working for a long-term projects with several days preparation of something. Therefore, we spent several hours on brainstorming and creating a suitable plan for us to work. Also, for the coding skills, our team members are not that familiar with. Therefore, we also spent a lot of time to learn the new skills by incorporating html, API, pose control, and all the other functions together.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The most accomplishment the we're proud of is that we using our hardware and software skills to finally build a real prototype with the basic functions we design. Since we are incorporating different types of technology, and we actually met a lot of difficulties during finishing that. Therefore, we are really proud of finishing the entire prototype and the function for our mirror could be really useful for people to use during the morning time in the bathroom. From idealization to finishing the prototype, we spent much effort to make our idealized product come true.

What we learned

This Cal Hackthon event actually taught us a lot: first, time management skill is really important for creating a product and ensure the efficiency. Moreover, we definitely learn a lot of coding skills and advanced technological knowledge in this competition by exploring from Google Cloud, Microsoft, facebook, and many other API and resources that companies provided. We also learned about how to using the advanced technology on solving the pressing problems that happened in our life.

What's next for JING

For the future of JING, the first thing we want to do is to refine our prototype by testing our products and improve the function for our product, making it to become more useful and stable. After that, we are planning to lead a larger project team with more skillful software engineer and product manager, satisfying more customers. Also, we planned to think more about future plan on manufacture the mirror and reduce the cost of the product, making it to be more accessible to traditional family's life and positively influence people's morning and evening life.

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