Skip to main content

High-res smart mirror shows you both the front and back of your head

ME2 Mirror - de eerste spiegel die tegelijk voor en achter toont
When you go to get your hair cut, the barber shows you his handiwork by holding up a hand mirror behind your head so it reflects in the larger mirror in front of you.

It’s a simple, but low-tech solution — so obviously it needs to be disrupted by the tech world’s best and brightest.

Enter Imec, a world-leading R&D innovation center which specializes in nanoelectronics and groundbreaking digital technologies. Together with two Belgian design companies, Deknudt Mirrors and Group De Keyzer, Imec has developed a smart bathroom mirror, allowing users to see both their front and rear view simultaneously.

“The system consists of a high-definition display, some electronics, a camera, and smart algorithms to add the intelligence,” Peter Lemmens, project lead on the mirror, told Digital Trends. “Those are seamlessly integrated with one another.”

The mirror is part of a bathroom cabinet composed of two pivoting panels, each with a mirror inside. In the left panel, an integrated camera streams images in real time and high resolution to a tablet-sized display fitted inside the right panel. LED lighting then makes sure that the scene is as perfectly lit as a Hollywood movie.

“It’s not enough to just give an image good enough to let someone put on a necklace or zip up their dress,” Lemmens continued. “That doesn’t require high resolution imaging. But what we were asked to create was a system detailed enough that people could see the individual tiny hairs on their skin. These are hard to see normally, but particularly difficult in bathrooms where the lighting is not necessarily optimized.”

While the research was created for high-end design purposes, Lemmens said he wouldn’t be surprised to see such mirrors become more commonplace in the years to come.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before this winds up with the consumer,” he said. “There’s a growing activity around specialty imaging systems and smart cameras. The ability to add additional features or provide more information, in challenging conditions, is something we do a lot at Imec. These tools are often designed for organizations like space agencies — but after a couple of years they trickle down to ordinary consumers. This is something we see a large potential for.”

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
What is IFTTT and how can you use it in your smart home?
A bunch of colorful shapes on a black background.

If you've spent any time shopping for smart home gadgets, you've probably noticed that many are built with support for Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Home. These are smart home platforms, and they let you access all your devices through a single app or interface. You've probably also noticed support for something known as IFTTT. But what exactly is IFTTT? And is it something you should be concerned with? Here's a closer look at the unique (and incredibly useful) software.
What is IFTTT?

IFTTT stands for, "if this, then that." It's terminology often used in programming, allowing software to chain together functions and perform certain tasks if other tasks are detected. For example, if the user inputs the incorrect password, then they'll be notified to try logging in again.

Read more
Nest Hub Max vs. Echo Show 10: which is the better smart display?
The Nest Hub Max on a table.

The world of smart displays is dominated by two companies -- Amazon and Google. Amazon is responsible for the Echo Show 10, while Google is behind the Nest Hub Max. Both offer large screens, access to a massive roster of apps, and the ability to connect (and control) the rest of your smart home. There are a lot of similarities between the two popular displays, but there are a few key differences you should be aware of before adding one to your home.

Here's a closer look at the Echo Show 10 and Nest Hub Max to help you decide which is best.
Pricing and design

Read more
The Skylight Cal Max is a 27-inch smart calendar that might replace your smart display
The Skylight Cal Max installed on a wall.

Skylight, a company responsible for a variety of popular smart frames, is gearing up to launch the Cal Max -- a smart calendar that's a simplified version of a traditional smart display. You won't be watching Netflix on the massive 27-inch screen or tinkering with dozens of different apps, as it's aimed at providing families with a streamlined way to access their calendars, chores, meal planning, and photo albums without any of the clutter found on traditional smart displays.

The Cal Max is designed to help organize your home without introducing any unwanted distractions. You won't find a massive lineup of supported apps (as you typically see on smart displays). Instead, you can seamlessly sync your data from Google Calendar, Outlook, Apple Calendar, Cozi, and Yahoo, allowing family members to automatically push all their activities to the Cal Max for easy planning. It also doubles as a smart frame, letting you view photos sent by members of your family.

Read more