Google Engineer Builds Android-Powered, Google Now-Capable Smart Mirror For His Bathroom
As Braun describes, “There doesn’t seem to be anyone selling the product I was looking for.” Since no one could sell him a finished product, he decided to build his own using off-the-shelf components. The main parts required for his smart mirror include a two-way mirror, a controller board (complete with HDMI and VGA outputs), a 15.6-inch ASUS MB MB168B+ USB display, and an Amazon Fire TV Stick (among other various odds and ends).
The magic starts with the Fire TV Stick, which is running an Android SDK — this is used to actually fire up the UI (Braun previously tested the Chromecast and Nexus Player before settling on the Fire TV Stick). He used a few custom Android APIs to provide pertinent information at a glance including the weather forecast, time/date and news headlines from the Associated Press.
It should be noted that you can’t physically manipulate the mirror as you would a smartphone or tablet, meaning you can’t touch and swipe at it (and why would you want to do that to a mirror in the first place?) — instead, it takes advantage of voice commands using Google Now to display relevant information.
“Other concepts I’m playing with are traffic, reminders, and essentially anything that has a Google Now card,” Braun opines. “The idea is that you don’t need to interact with this UI.”
We should mention that while this is far from the first Android-powered smart mirror that we’ve seen over the years, it is one of the sleekest and most well-integrated ones around. And if you’re interested in building your own “Braun” smart mirror, he plans to add more detailed pictures of his build and a step-by-step guide soon to get you on the right track.