With the ubiquitous rise of IoT, our group felt it was time to introduce a new player in the space. Smart mirrors are a fantastic passive way of collecting information throughout a day. The can be located in hotels, bathrooms, and hallways and serve as an excellent way to get briefed on your coming day.
What it does
The smart mirror is just that, a mirror! However, once it is voice activated the mirror becomes a display as well. This display is capable of displaying all types of information such as,
- Live feed of your Calendar
- International Clocks
- Live weather reports and week forecasts
- Spotify interactions
- Map data
- Display of upcoming event in your area
- Display special places of interest.
- Display news headlines
- Show body positive quotes
- Play Youtube videos
The smart mirror is capable of taking Google voice, console, and companion app commands to update its information and is designed to be run off of a raspberry pie.
How we built it
The SmartMirror is built with an acrylic one-way mirror resting on top of an RGB display being powered by a raspberry pi. The one-way display allows us to preserve the mirrors shine while adding in an input layer thanks to the display. This display layer is rendered beneath the mirror stopping light from reflecting in this section preserving the data making it visible to a user. Running the whole system off a pie allows the project to stay commercially viable due to there low cost. The raspberry pi also allows the system to be a self-contained unit letting the SmartMirror function for weeks without a hassle. The software runs off the Google cloud backend and incorporates tons of different API's to populate data. This makes getting data into the mirror a sinch for developers.
Challenges we ran into
The major hurdles came from building the actual mirror setup as no extra light can be allowed to shine through the backplane creating an interesting problem that was resolved with a lot of cardboard and glue. The other major hurdle cam from getting voice commands to work as we are using a 10$ mic making initial capture hard to perform. On the software side, there are many different packages and APIs playing together to make this mirror and working with all of their conflicting dependencies too sometimes and lowered our stretch goals.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The fact that we completed the project in and of its self is an accomplishment! This was a serious undertaking and there were moments we wanted to pull our hair output the fact that we were able to create such a refined and capable system is something were very proud of.
What we learned
Through the creation of this project we learned a lot about various api's such as Spotify, the weather network, google assistant, google cloud servers, eventbright API and many more. Getting to work with all these API's and coming up with a way to control them in unison was a great learning endeavor and one I'm glad I got to be a part of.
What's next for Mirror Mirror on the Wall
Getting rid of the cardboard case and replacing it with a sleek wood finish that can contain the pie and cables is our top priority. We feel that with improvements to the visual design smart mirrors will be a powerful player in the IoT world in coming years.