May 11, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Most people have only their beautiful faces to keep them company in the mirror. One project from a Japanese company will show your reflection, but also give you your morning updates. Seraku recently unveiled a prototype “vanity smart mirror” that can display information though a special LCD monitor placed below a semitransparent piece of reflective glass. This allows the monitor, connected to an Android tablet hidden behind the display, to relay information from select apps as you put your make-up or brushing your teeth.
I’m sure your first question is simply, “Why?” Seraku say they could see this being useful for hair salon customers who want to read the news or for bar visitors to answer surveys in the restroom. I’m not so sure about that second use case. The reading news aspect might be a little awkward or helpful for the gossip and current events talk that happens in a salon, but the last thing I want to deal with when washing my hands in the bathroom is answering a questionnaire.
The interesting aspect of the Seraku mirror is that it is not touch-based – wouldn’t want to get water smudges all over the mirror, would we? The monitor uses RF sensors that detect when the hand is in close proximity, and then responds to commands. So hovering over a designated spot will launch a weather forecast or open up a scale to measure how much weight you have lost or gained recently. When you think about this touch-free technology being refined and applied to something like Samsung’s Smart Window displayed at CES, the Minority Report fantasy edges closer to reality.
Visit The Verge to see a demonstration of the Seraku Mirror prototype. No release date or price is set as the product is still in development.