What Is a Smart Mirror? Plus, Which to Buy Now
Mirrors are often considered home décor and beauty essentials. We use them when we're primping in the morning, and they also double as a way to help make a small space feel bigger. But that's not all they can do. Now, thanks to modern technology, smart mirrors have entered the market, and these do everything from offering skincare advice to allowing for contact-free personal training lessons in the comfort of your home. Smart mirrors are essentially just standard mirrors that have a computer or tablet and a touch screen or voice interface added to the surface; this is done without disturbing the reflective "mirror" surface, says Jeremy Hajek, director of Smart Tech and Embedded Systems Laboratory at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
"Any mirror can be 'retrofitted' to become a smart mirror by using an Android phone or tablet and removing some of the mirror's surface to show through to the tablet—but these are view-only devices or voice controlled," he says. "Newer devices have touch built-in to the mirror's surface and essentially act [as] a large tablet, with a mirror in front of them and thin enough to mount as you might mount a wall mirror in your house."
Initially, smart mirrors were designed to display weather, stocks, news headlines, even Twitter or email summaries, says Hajek. Now, personal smart mirrors have shifted a function that use cameras and artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver results in different arenas. You might be wondering what all of this means for your cybersecurity. "The security concerns are the same as any home network device," he says. "The smart mirrors function the same [as] smart [light] bulbs or smart [cameras] and the same considerations should be taken." Ahead, we're sharing smart mirrors that will make everything from your fitness routine to your morning commute, easier.
The Best Smart Mirrors Available:
Probably one of the most widely acclaimed and heard of smart mirrors is aptly named the Mirror. This workout-meets-home-décor device is the culmination of years of technological advances. Either wall-mounted or leaned against a wall, this mirror provides fitness instruction from acclaimed instructors, can link with an application on your phone, and provides motivation and live feedback during workouts.
Shop Now: Mirror "The Mirror," $1,495, mirror.com.
For Tech Novices
If you're easing yourself into the idea of a smart mirror, this one has a few key features that are easy to use, like an LED illuminated light, defogging and anti-fogging technology, and a weather forecast. Its circular shape adds a nice decorative touch.
Shop Now: BYECOLD Vanity Lighted Makeup Mirror in Black, $299, amazon.com.
This small but mighty smart mirror analyzes your skin and can recommend products based on what it sees—upping the ante for your morning and evening skincare routines. It also comes with Amazon's Alexa for an added touch of AI.
Shop Now: HiMirror Smart Beauty Mirror, $199, urbanoutfitters.com.
This smart mirror features voice-activating technology for hands-free lighting control. It also has a motion-sensing night light that brightens the closer you get to it, making late-night bathroom runs easier to navigate.
Shop Now: Kohler "Verdera Voice" Frameless Wall Mirror, 24'' by 33'', $799, homedepot.com.