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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 @04:19PM (#45542835)

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

  • Internet Access you say ? Watch porn then lol
  • by Anonymous Coward

    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."

    • There are quite a few shiny laptops I can sell you for that.
      They incidentally come equipped with the internet.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

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

      I really wish someone would invent such a thing for the bathroom. I have actually never seen one. The closest thing I've seen are mirrors which only reflect part of the time, namely when the bathroom isn't humid. I've never seen a mirror that reflects after a hot shower; instead, they're always covered by fog.

      What good is this "smart" mirror going to be when I can't read anything on it because it's all fogged up?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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 @04:28PM (#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)

      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!

    • 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)

        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

      • But this is not even technology.

        This is fashion statement as form matters more than function.

        That is a bit anti-nerdy.

    • 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.

  • *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 @04:39PM (#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 roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @04:51PM (#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.

  • Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  • by LoRdTAW (99712) on Wednesday November 27, 2013 @05:06PM (#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.

  • 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 :-)

  • Is up to date files and fast download speeds

  • 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.

  • to automatically take selfies.

  • 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
  • I said "Damn, do I look good?" in front of it. The thing laughed for 20 minutes.
  • 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 @07:34PM (#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.

    • 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, whic
  • 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.

  • A smart mirror would display everything in the correct right/left perspective. And how fucking awesome would that be?
  • Japan used to be on the forefront of innovation. WTF happened? Did it all move to China?

  • 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?"

  • 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 sho

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