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A 'Smart' Bathroom Mirror Powered by Android (Video) 71

Posted by Roblimo
from the mirror-mirror-on-the-wall dept.
Gone are the days of boring bathroom mirrors that only reflect what's in front of them. What you really need is a bathroom mirror that gives stock quotes, displays the local weather, and tells you the temperature of the water you are about to use to wash your face. Seraku Corporation is now in the process of filling that burning need and has gotten a bunch of press attention by doing so. A cynic might wonder why people who absolutely, positively must have Internet access while they shave or perform other bathroom mirror duties don't just make a wall-mounted holder for their tablets next to their pre-Internet bathroom mirrors, but that would destroy the fun of having the display built directly into the mirror, along with sensors that detect hand gestures so you can control your mirror (no doubt by asking, "Who is the fairest of them all?") without touching it with your greasy fingers. Note that this is technically not a smart mirror but a smart washbasin with a mirror attached to it. Either way, it's not available for retail sale quite yet.

Tim: Seraku, could you explain the product we’re standing in front of? This is a mirror, but it’s an Android-powered mirror. What does that mean?

Seraku: It’s a mirror on which you can display information. So for example, in the morning, when you are cleaning your teeth, you can check the news or the weather. That’s the benefit of the product.

Tim: And what is the interface like? Could you show us how we actually interact with the mirror?

Seraku: The mirror has four sensors on it, which are located next to these blue LED lights. And that’s how you operate the mirror. So to display something, you hover over the sensors with the palm of your hand. And the mirror then displays one of these four items: the news, the weather, the body weight or the camera.

Tim: What sort of target market would buy such a thing?

Seraku: For example, hotels and high-class apartment blocks and so forth.

Tim: Now it’s running Android internal, is that correct?

Seraku: Yes, it runs on Android.

Tim: What version of Android?

Seraku: Gingerbread.

Tim: Gingerbread, okay. The display is what ____2:18; how sharp is the display?

Seraku: High vision. So that’s full HD.

Tim: Full HD, okay. Alright and what does it cost? Is it something that an ordinary household can afford?

Seraku: At the moment, it’s just a prototype and it’s not for commercialization as a product for sale at this time.

Tim: Should we expect to see one in the future?

Seraku: We are a software developer. So we are working with various manufacturers and at some point, we’d to be able to release it on the market.

Tim: This is one of the more unusual places I’ve ever seen Android deployed or any software for that matter. Are there other ideas that you can talk about that are similar in this sort of unusual use?

Seraku: We’ve made a device for cultivating vegetables that runs on Android too.

Tim: And where are you based? You’re a Japanese company?

Seraku: We’re based in Shinjuku, in Tokyo.

Tim: How big is the team that came up with this product here?

Seraku: It’s a three-man team.

Tim: And one further thing, Android as a platform, is something you can run your software on, can you install apps on this mirror? Can you put on your own custom apps or standard Android apps?

Seraku: Yes, of course, that’s possible.

Tim: What’s an example of something that might work well on a mirror display like this when it comes to software, that can be used with the software?

Seraku: For example, you could add a beauty function, in which you would have a sensor that detects the condition of your skin so that you could check the condition of your skin on a daily basis.

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A 'Smart' Bathroom Mirror Powered by Android (Video)

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  • by mythosaz (572040) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:19PM (#45542835)

    Were they not accepting submissions on http://thisiswhyimbroke.com/ [thisiswhyimbroke.com] ?

  • by fluffythedestroyer (2586259) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:21PM (#45542869) Homepage
    Internet Access you say ? Watch porn then lol
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:25PM (#45542917)

      Last thing I want to see is my ugly mug while rubbing one out. On the plus side if you can still look at yourself in the mirror after watching it, your porn isn't depraved enough. Bring on the pregnant midget bondage litmus test!

      captcaha: mankind

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:23PM (#45542897)

    What you really need is a bathroom mirror that gives stock quotes, displays the local weather, and tells you the temperature of the water you are about to use to wash your face

    No, all I really need in a mirror is a reflective surface. You know, a "mirror."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:23PM (#45542911)

    >> tells you the temperature of the water you are about to use to wash your face

    Seriously? That is their big idea?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:26PM (#45542935)

    I hear people do watch porn in bathroom. I suspect that it a camera is added there will be a growth industry for naked women putting on makeup. Otherwise just another method for NSA to conduct traffic analysis

  • No thanks... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mlts (1038732) * on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:28PM (#45542951)

    Not another device to get hacked or add another point to be constantly monitored. I'll pass. Couple reasons why:

    1: That temperature of water can be turned scalding quite quickly if someone manages to hack the device, and with a camera, there will be YouTube vids galore of people getting scalded.

    2: I really don't want ads in my bathroom, nor cameras. No viewer or lackey in any intel organization or LEO deserves that punishment.

    3: I also don't want another camera for some potential burglar to have access to via wardriving.

    4: Technology for technology's sake is pointless. I want stuff in a bathroom to be simple and elegant. It is one of the few places in a building where I can get away from it.

    5: I don't need another electronic item to break or need power.

    • by danomac (1032160) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:34PM (#45543029)

      I can think of another reason: it's bad enough that I nick myself sometimes in the morning shaving while I'm half awake. So now I'll get to read stuff and not pay attention, between being half awake and distracted, I'm going to have cuts all over my face! If I even have a face left!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:43PM (#45543103)

      ....Technology for technology's sake is pointless. I want stuff in a bathroom to be simple and elegant. It is one of the few places in a building where I can get away from it.

      What, you think I asked for stupid shit like ringback tones to be invented?

      Technology for technology's sake isn't there to make a point. It's there to make a profit.

      Try and realize that and not be as ignorant as those driving this kind of shit to the marketplace.

    • by noobermin (1950642) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @06:12PM (#45543367) Journal

      Technology for technology's sake is pointless.

      Slashdot. News for Nerds, Stuff That Matters

      Your privacy concerns are valid, but how is disliking technology for technology's sake, which is something I think that all nerds do, nerdy? Sometimes, this site confuses me.

      • by femtobyte (710429) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @07:15PM (#45543969)

        how is disliking technology for technology's sake, which is something I think that all nerds do, nerdy?

        Being knowledgeable and passionate about a subject usually leads to developing a critical evaluative stance specifically towards the objects of your interest. If you're a food nerd, you're likely a more picky eater than someone who crams any piece of food into their mouth. If you're a typography nerd, you may be thrown into a spitting rage by the vast majority of texts printed. If you're a technology nerd, you might not be inclined to mindlessly gush about every silly bauble with a computer in it. You might set a rather high standard for the technology that you do admire --- expecting a remarkable level of elegance, functionality, or clever hacking found only in rare instances.

      • by zwei2stein (782480) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @05:22AM (#45547301) Homepage

        But this is not even technology.

        This is fashion statement as form matters more than function.

        That is a bit anti-nerdy.

    • by jenningsthecat (1525947) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @12:52AM (#45546241)

      Not another device to get hacked or add another point to be constantly monitored. I'll pass. Couple reasons why:

      1: That temperature of water can be turned scalding quite quickly if someone manages to hack the device, and with a camera, there will be YouTube vids galore of people getting scalded.
      2: I really don't want ads in my bathroom, nor cameras. No viewer or lackey in any intel organization or LEO deserves that punishment.
      3: I also don't want another camera for some potential burglar to have access to via wardriving.
      4: Technology for technology's sake is pointless. I want stuff in a bathroom to be simple and elegant. It is one of the few places in a building where I can get away from it.
      5: I don't need another electronic item to break or need power.

      I agree, and I think I can sum up all of these points in one phrase: Form follows function.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:30PM (#45542979)

    (Insert appearance jokes here.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:32PM (#45542997)

    It's probably 15 or 20 years ago now that I toured a model home with a TV set in behind a partially silvered section of the bathroom mirror. (When it was off, you couldn't see it.) Do that with a smart TV or computer monitor and it's the same thing.

    Big whoop.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:32PM (#45542999)

    ... a man from New Jersey was convicted today for murder in the 3rd degree. He hacked his ex-girlfriends mirror to tell her she looked fat, after which she killed herself. More at 11.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:33PM (#45543017)

    Very nice, thanks
    Alanya Emlak [yegingroup.com]

  • by fredrated (639554) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:33PM (#45543021) Journal

    *Leans over, vomits into trash can* What's the temperature of that?

  • The extreme (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:39PM (#45543079) Homepage

    For years I've been a fan of matte displays, preferring to have my displays still usable when there are other lights around, but I guess glossy displays have now reached their extreme.

    I bet the glare's awful.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:43PM (#45543107)

    This is utterly senseless! Apart from the security concerns voiced above, this is a very useless place to put android on.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:45PM (#45543121)

    Newsflash: Not ever part of your life needs to be electronic.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:51PM (#45543185) Journal

    The concept makes a little more sense if you think of it as a display that could double as a mirror. Although that would probably cost more. (The video appears to show a real mirror with display features built in.)

    Then I asked myself, why aren't all displays also mirrors. I have a mirror app on my phone that uses the front facing camera. Should be an easy thing to do. And then I went oh yeah ... Front facing cameras on internet enabled devices, hanging on the wall. No way that could be abused.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:55PM (#45543209)

    I guess you could just have an app that shows you the front cam image on your ipad, which you hang on the wall. Then just have some stock and weather stuff around the image on the screen. This is just a bigger copy of what is already doable. Just don't let your tablet get hacked or find video of you naked in the bathroom on the web somewhere.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @06:02PM (#45543265) Homepage Journal

    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  • by LoRdTAW (99712) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @06:06PM (#45543295)

    So we put an ad in yo ad so you can watch ads to watch ads.

    Seriously fuck you to whoever thought it would be a good idea to force us to watch an ad before we watch what essentially is an ad. I immediately stopped watching.

  • by tftp (111690) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @06:21PM (#45543447) Homepage

    How much time, on average, a typical male geek spends in bathroom staring in the mirror?

    I'd understand if this mirror were to be aimed at female geeks. But they are few and far between. A non-geeky woman doesn't need stock quotes; she would focus on the only object that is important: her own appearance :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @06:23PM (#45543463)

    I don't give a fuck about any of that. A mirror is a mere mirror. I can't imagine anyone using this beyond a novelty and having too much disposable income. Or as a clever selling-point on a new house.

    This isn't a lot different than using your smartphone on the shitter during your morning shit-session.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @06:23PM (#45543471)

    Mirror: Yes. Have you heard about our new offer of male enlargement pills?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @06:28PM (#45543509)

    I like how they stressed REALLY. So it is not enough that I sit on a jon with my phone browsing news, I also REALLY need a bathroom mirror that gives me price stock? Some business ideas are just too stupid

  • by rossdee (243626) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @06:37PM (#45543631)

    Is up to date files and fast download speeds

  • by erice (13380) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @06:40PM (#45543669) Homepage

    A smart bathroom mirror would clean and/or defog itself. A "smart" anything uses computation to enhance the original application. Adding internet in no way helps with shaving, washing, styling hair, or any other task that bathroom mirrors are commonly used for. Worse, it increases the maintenance load since it is less robust than a plain mirror and needs to be kept cleaner in order to utilize the new features.

  • by jimshatt (1002452) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @06:45PM (#45543697)
    'nuff said.
  • by rrohbeck (944847) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @07:01PM (#45543877)

    to automatically take selfies.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @08:23PM (#45544585)

      Um, you obviously failed to click the links and look at the pretty pictures didn't you

      http://smart-washbasin.seraku.co.jp/english/index.html

      First BIG picture. It shows where the features are. See the one labeled CAMERA? Yeah, pretty sure that's a built-in camera.

      Also, read all the posts before yours. Many mention about the camera, in the bathroom, connected to the internet and how "I'm sure there's no potential for abuse there!".

      I know, reading and click is just soooo hard

  • by localroger (258128) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @08:31PM (#45544675) Homepage
    If you had the chance to visit the late lamented Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton when it still existed, and if you had visited the gentlemen's toilet, you would have unzipped before a urinal topped by a mirror. Upon tinkling, the mirror would proceed to display an amusing ad for some silly personal product only available in the Star Trek universe. It was so amusing that there was a constant stream of guys sneaking their girls into the men's room to show it off. Apparently there was a similar gag in the Ladies' at the wash basin, but the ladies report that it wasn't nearly as funny.
  • by NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @08:31PM (#45544677)
    I said "Damn, do I look good?" in front of it. The thing laughed for 20 minutes.
  • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @08:33PM (#45544717) Homepage Journal

    DAMMIT! I've been waiting all this time for the "Internet Connected Refrigerator" I was promised 10 years ago so it can order groceries for me - and all they've come up with is a fucking bathroom mirror with stock quotes!?!? Get the fuck out.

  • by SpaceGhost (23971) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @08:34PM (#45544719)

    I'm surprised at the overwhelmingly negative commentary on this story. I think it has potential, here's why.

    In my current morning routine, I wake up to a clock radio tuned to NPR while my server turns on the stereo so I can hear NPR in the bathroom. I check my phone to see if there are any fires at work that need to be addressed, then to the bathroom where as I shave and shower I listen for news, traffic and weather. The local NPR is quite mediocre, so even if I hear the traffic and weather I dont always get the info I need. After my shower I get dressed and go. I do NOT typically turn on any kind of display, viewing that as a slow process, but if it's flooding, the radio mentions a bad accident, or there were fires I may turn on my winbox or a tablet, or just address it on the phone.

    With a device like this I would go into the bathroom to see weather with animated radar, the traffic map from the county, and could be streaming the local NPR. I might even check an email on occasion. If traffic looks bad I could email from something larger than my phone. I would be able to set both the shower and sink to the temp I like as a preset so I wouldnt have to take the time to check, adjust, wait, so after shaving the electric razor gets rinsed and straight into a right temp shower. Since my house is older and the hot water has to get there I could save water if it reduced the flow at the right temp. If I get a phone call while in the bathroom I can see the callerid and route the call as desired, or answer it. If someone comes to the door I can view the front door camera, maybe even talk to them. I could view my agenda for the day and reminders of things I need to take. This makes sense because most of the morning routine aside from getting dressed is spent in the bathroom.

    I can see where this would be a productivity enhancer. It won't get me out of the house faster, but could reduce water consumption and significantly enhance the quality of my day. I dont know if I want the specific device in the OP, but as i already have a "smart" home the functionality makes sense. Most people may not, but then most people dont have a house that turns lights and media on and off based on rules. Some technologies that I have implemented in the past ended up not making sense, i.e. controlling the outside lights based on time or rules, when a simple photocell does what I need and is more reliable. I think technology can be helpful, and some kind of terminal in the bathroom could be quite helpful.

    Knee jerk reactions and superior airs do little to advance technology. Maybe some of the whiners dont have computers at home because they dont need to spend quality home time on the internet. Maybe electric lights offend their sensibilities where a proper gas light would have that perfect glow. In any case I do look for meaningful ways to add useful technology and information to my life. Yes there are risks, ooh, someone might see my butt. But if I can make it secure I will, at least as secure as one of my 3 tablets, two laptops, two cpus and smartphone. They contain risks but I still use them.Ten years ago people scoffed at my Palm phone and ridiculed my Newton, three years ago they wondered why I bought a tablet. Now almost everyone I know have smartphones and tablets. I've already built panels using rainmeter and samurize to monitor local conditions as well as multiple cpus, so I know what kind of info would be useful. And frankly the idea of leaving a video "good morning", "I love you", or "dont forget to..." message for someone that wakes at a different time could be quite keen. Both the bathroom and the kitchen could benefit from task-specific technology. Hell I even have an old laptop in my shop to I can look up procedures in the service manuals or do calculations.

    So maybe not this one, but probably eventually.

    • by InsightfulPlusTwo (3416699) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @08:40AM (#45547909)
      In the video, they mentioned that the target audience was hotels or high end apartments. In a hotel, this actually makes sense. The business traveler can use it to catch up with the market or the news, and the leisure traveler can catch the weather while someone else is watching TV. There probably won't be steam issues since mirrors in hotels are often not actually in the bathroom. The device is probably a good selling point for the room as well, because it gives it a sense of high tech and luxury, which would attract a well-heeled geek crowd. Furthermore, I think this device is just one of a wave of future similar devices where cheap electronics are integrated with every other piece of consumer furniture, toy, or clothing, which in many cases will be quite useful. I would use it just for the novelty.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @08:36PM (#45544751)

    Asians have making useless shit down to a science. Somehow that makes them sound smarter than they actually are though....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @08:51PM (#45544913)

    http://www.hiddentelevision.com/
    Been around for a few years now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @09:18PM (#45545097)

    Katana is wearing a suit now..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @09:22PM (#45545127)

    Looks like it's all American technology - Corning.

  • by Lucky_Pierre (175635) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @09:23PM (#45545131)

    Back in the 80s that had a 2-way mirror in the bathroom. Open the closet and you could see right into the bathroom and no computer was involved. My girlfriend was not amused.

  • by BringsApples (3418089) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @11:19PM (#45545783)
    A smart mirror would display everything in the correct right/left perspective. And how fucking awesome would that be?
  • by citizenr (871508) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @02:35AM (#45546697) Homepage

    Japan used to be on the forefront of innovation. WTF happened? Did it all move to China?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 28, 2013 @09:16AM (#45548063)

    "What you really need is a bathroom mirror that gives stock quotes, displays the local weather, and tells you the temperature of the water you are about to use to wash your face" Nonsense. But I would like a "mirror" that can play clips of nice hardcore prono, for stress relief, dontyaknow.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 28, 2013 @11:20AM (#45548685)

    is there an app that wont make me hate myself when i look in the mirror?

  • by ilsaloving (1534307) on Thursday November 28, 2013 @11:39AM (#45548759)

    This should be filed under "WTF were they thinking?"

    I can just see it now:

    "Mirror mirror on the wall.... Who makes the smelliest poops of them all?"

  • by lsatenstein (949458) <lsatenstein@yahoo.com> on Friday December 06, 2013 @10:34AM (#45618303) Journal

    For the past 6 months, our local "Casino" has had a power mirror installed. Actually, they use reflective glass, and a projector behind.
    So when you wash your hands, you are shown the money that people won at the tables. They really want high-rollers.

    But, I can'tr wait for them to replace the stall doors with ones having flat screens. So, while you sit, you can watch the advert, in a captive way. I think that is a better idea for a Casino, don't you?

    On second thought, there could be training videos to show you how to flush --- no, that won't work, the toilets are automatic, and do their thing when you get up.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @01:33PM (#45620003)

    If it can't zoom in and magnify a zit, what good is an intelligent mirror?

Gee, Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.

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