Headlines, traffic, weather: This Google Engineer’s smart mirror keeps you informed

Usually when you gaze into a mirror, it’s just your reflection that gazes back. Or Bloody Mary. But the promise of smart mirrors is that there will be more to look at than just your pretty face or a sanguine specter. The idea is that while you’re brushing your teeth or moisturizing, you could also see the weather, traffic, and news overlaying the reflection of your shower curtain. It’s a concept you see in a lot of future-home scenarios, but a software engineer at Google, Max Braun, has a smart mirror right now. The catch is that he created it himself.

Publishing on Medium, Braun explained how he put together a mirror that shows the time and date on the right and the weather, including a 24-hour forecast, to the left. News headlines appear on the bottom. He created the mirror using a two-way mirror, LED monitor, and LCD controller board, and it runs on a Fire TV Stick. It’s still in the early stages and he doesn’t give step-by-step instructions, but in his post, Braun has a behind-the-scenes picture of the electronics. He’s still working on a way to hide them better.

Braun also wants to make his mirror look like a Google Now card, and some of his ideas include traffic and reminders. “The idea is that you don’t need to interact with this UI. Instead, it updates automatically and there’s an open-ended voice search interface for anything else,” he writes.

Voice search makes sense, because bathroom mirrors are one item you don’t need to make smudgier with a touchscreen.

Panasonic’s concept smart mirror, which it showed off at CES 2015, had some features Braun’s doesn’t, like the ability to virtually try on makeup and hairstyles. That’s definitely something that would require more than the few lines of code he’s running now, but even in its current form, this is something I could see doing well on Kickstarter.