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‘You talkin’ to me?’ Smart mirrors do talk back and give beauty tips

Hi-tech devices also recognise your face, take your photo, give you access to news, weather, emails, calendar reminders and other online essentials

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 December, 2017, 9:32am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 December, 2017, 9:32am

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the smartest of them all?

The thing that you take for granted every day – that piece of glass that you look into every day – is also getting smarter, just like everything else in your house.

It used to merely reflect your image. Actor Robert DeNiro tried – and failed – to strike up a conversation with his mirror, when he started a monologue with the famous line, “You talkin’ to me?”, while playing the character of Travis Bickle in director Martin Scorsese’s classic film Taxi Driver.

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But these days mirrors do actually talk to you - something that you previously read about only in Snow White.

Not surprisingly, one of the first major roles the smart mirror has played is as a beauty consultant.

The HiMirror, for example, uses built-in smarts to analyse your skin condition and show you the data once you “login” using your face or voice.

It also guides you through beauty routines thanks to a series of tutorial videos.

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Even Snow White’s wicked stepmother would not have thought that one day, the mirror could take a picture of her.

The smart mirror created by German company Mues-Tec, which made its first appearance at the ISH international trade fair in Frankfurt and the CeBIT trade fair in Hannover last year, has since come on market.

It runs on Android 6 and is equipped with a high-definition camera and microphone. The mirror can provide you with access to news, weather, emails and other online essentials through the touchscreen or voice control.

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When you switch on its Bluetooth wireless technology, it can connect to a host of smart appliances in the house, such as weight scales and blood pressure monitors.

The smart mirror comes in three sizes – 600 millimetres by 800 millimetres, 800mm by 600mm and 1,200mm by 800mm.

From the United States, Séura goes even further by making its smart mirror customisable in various ways, such as shape and size, screen placement, frames and etched lighting designs.

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The company was launched in 2003 through the release of its mirror television prototype and it has since grown into an award-winning company specialising in mirror and TV solutions for indoor and outdoor spaces.

Competition gets more intense with the MirroCool, a Kickstarter crowdfunding project, which promises a smart mirror incorporating facial and gesture recognition technology.

It can recognise up to 70 distinctive facial positions and use them to complete the task you name, without any taps, swipes or verbal instructions.

Do you like selfies? Blink your eyes and this glassy assistant will take one for you.

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This 60 centimetres by 80 centimetres smart mirror comes in a water-resistant bathroom version and another for the hallway in four colour choices.

When switched off, it looks just like another mirror, but once activated it can sync up with your schedule on Google Calendar, iCloud or Office 365.

Just stand in front of it and it gives you medical reminders, traffic reports, weather updates and calendar alerts.

MirroCool is a security device as well. The integrated Face Recognition technology keeps track of every family member in the house, as well as people whose profiles you have provided.

When it “sees” someone it does not know, it will alert you or sound the alarm. You can also make live checks of your home through the designated mobile app.

Viio, another company producing minimalist yet elegant smart mirrors, offers a range of various designs, shapes and features, including anti-fog capabilities, which make the mirrors ideal for use in the bathroom.