These days, screens dominate our lives. From the moment we wake up to the moment we close our eyes at night, we're looking at a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or smart TV almost constantly through the day (no judgment, that's just life in the 21st century). Smart mirrors are still a relatively new phenomenon, but are quickly becoming popular. They're just your regular bedroom mirror tricked out with some tech so that along with your smiling, beautiful reflection they also display time, weather, calendars and other smartphone-style alerts and widgets.
Recently, blogger Dylan Pierce decided he wanted to give someone the gift of a smart mirror. He went with an affordable, DIY approach and with just a little bit of coding and some ingenuity, he was able to make a mirror that's got people like me drooling all over it. Here's how he did it.
The first step in making a smart mirror is to get a mirror (obviously). This project requires a double sided mirror, measured to the size of the monitor you'll be using. Thankfully, double sided mirrors are a mix of plastic and acrylic, making them much easier to cut to size.
You also need a monitor, which will go directly behind the mirror.
The mirror needs to be flush with the screen, so the plastic around the monitor needs to be carefully removed. A paint scraper is a great tool for this.
This is the inside of the monitor. Be careful when removing the plastic as all the wires must remain intact.
Here's what the finished monitor should look like after stripping the plastic. That little green part is the control panel.
Using 4x2 pieces of wood, Dylan then made a case for the monitor.
Next, he built a frame around it.
Once all that was done, it was time to cut the mirror to the exact measurements.
Everything needs to be flush and fit very snugly.
The light from the monitor is now visible through the mirror.
A little electrical tape helps keep everything neat and prevents the wires from potentially getting damaged.
Finally, a piece of breadboard is slid into the back to cover everything up. It's easily removable in case any modifications need to be made.
Here's the system booting up. For this project, Dylan used a version of Raspberry Pi to provide the computing power. For those unfamiliar with it, Raspberry Pi is a series of single-board computers roughly the size of a credit card, costing around $5-35 depending on the model.
After a little basic coding, the mirror starts to resemble a smartphone.
It displays several widgets, including weather reports, on an all black web page (to allow the mirror to still be reflective).
As you can see, the gift was well-received. It even has randomly generated positive greetings at the bottom!
If you want more specifics on the project, including instructions and coding for making your own, head on over to Dylan's blog post here. If you do make one and decide to make a spare, send it my way!
Via: Dylan Pierce