Have you ever gazed at your reflection in the bathroom mirror and thought to yourself: “Something is missing?” This isn’t an existential question, maybe you felt like your appearance could use a touch-up, or you wished you had nicer stuff in your flat. One way to solve both those problems is to buy or build a touch screen smart mirror.
A smart mirror or magic mirror can instantly add a technological upgrade to any room in your home, pair with your favorite Bluetooth devices, and give you Hollywood style lighting. The sleek and futuristic mirror screen can improve your physical health by tracking health data and providing interactive fitness sessions. The in-app store has all the same widgets as any android device and can turn into a control center for all your smart home appliances.
This article will help you build your touch screen smart mirror if you have a strong DIY gene. If you want to skip the construction process, then there is a page with the best-in-class smart mirrors here.
How do smart mirrors work?
Most DIY smart mirrors are possible because of IR frames. The electronic frames are based on light-beam interruption. Typically, an IR frame will have LEDs on one side and Light detectors on the opposite side. By placing a finger within the frame, you interrupt the streaming beams, and the IR sensor can coordinate where you’ve touched.
When you combine this technology with a double-sided mirror, a computer monitor, and a CPU called a Raspberry Pi, you can create a stunning effect similar to a sci-fi film.
How much does it cost to make a smart mirror?
What You Will Need
- Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (2GB +) or Raspberry Pi 3 or with wi-fi adapter ($45 on Amazon)
- Raspberry Pi Camera ($23 on Amazon)
- A computer monitor with HDMI-in ($50-$100 on Amazon)
- Two-way glass mirror ($22 on Amazon)
- Wooden frame (cardboard, screws, glue, drill, paint) ($50 at Home depot)
- Micro 32GB SD, Micro HDMI cord, 90-degree HDMI adaptor (USB $20-$60 on Amazon)
- IR Frame ($188 on eBay)
- Programming skills
- And lot of patience
How do you make a touch screen smart mirror?
Step 1: Build The Frame.
The frame is used to hold everything together. First, measure the length, width, and height of the monitor you will be using. Once you know the dimensions, select a sturdy water-resistant wood material. It should be strong enough to support the mirror and electronics’ weight but not so large that it is an eyesore for your bathroom. Cut the frame into four individual pieces.
Step 2: Paint and Assemble.
Once you finish cutting out the frame to hold the dimensions of your monitor you are all ready to channel your inner Picasso. Choose any color to match your wall paint. Once the paint dries, layout all the wooden strips. Tape the corners of each piece together to form a rectangle. Take your drill and place two screws on each corner to hold the frame together.
Step 3: Attaching the Back Support.
Now with the frame assembled, put superglue on the back of the frame. Next, take a cut out piece of wood or cardboard that matches the frame’s size completely (no gaps) and attach it to the super glued side. Leave something on the frame’s edges to provide pressure, and wait several hours until the glue dries.
Step 4: Install the Two-way Mirror and Touch Feature and any other add-ons to the monitor.
After choosing your standard computer monitor, please turn it on and increase the brightness to the maximum level. You now will want to remove any plastic that surrounds the screen so that you are left with just the screen and the hardware. That means taking off the stand, back panel, and front guards.
For the two-way mirror, don’t be cheap and buy low-quality glass. Try to find the best or medium quality, so the light of the screen shines through while maintaining your beautiful reflection. Make sure you have the exact dimensions so that the custom cut fits perfectly over the monitor. Use super glue along the edges to fix the mirror to the monitor and clean the mirror using a microfiber cloth.
Next, you will want to assemble your IR frame to go along the edges of your monitor and sit on top of the mirror. You can fix the IR frame to the mirror and the monitor with glue or by using metal clamps, depending on your preference.
Step 5: Install the monitor to the picture frame.
After you are left with your touch screen smart mirror skeleton and a bunch of wires, place the monitor in the frame on top of the cardboard. Trace along where you will want to cut out so that the wires and power cord can pass through the back. You will also want a slot so that you can add and remove the Raspberry Pi.
Once you make the necessary holes, you are ready to glue the monitor to your frame and back support. After the touchscreen smart mirror is safely glued into place, you will want to add wooden supports across the corners so that it is safely locked within the frame you built with the IR frame protruding outward.
Step 6: Assembling the Raspberry Pi
The brain of your smart mirror is the Raspberry Pi computer. You can find entire kits on Amazon for less than $50. Insert your 32GB micro SD card into the Pi, place it inside the case, and then attach the power and HDMI cables. You can also plug in a mouse and keyboard into the USB slots.
Now, hook up the Pi to a separate monitor or screen, to install the OS, and set the Time zone, wi-fi, etc.
Step 7: Installing and Customizing the Magic Mirror Software
With your Pi now booted up, you will want to install an open-source app named Magic Mirror onto the device. You do not have to be a coding expert to set it up. You can take the easy route and copy-paste the lines one by one into the terminal app on the Pi from the Manual Installation section of the Magic Mirror. When you finish the installation, you can customize it any way you see fit by adding tons of widgets like news feed, calendar, and social media apps.
Step 8: Installing the monitor Into the Frame
Now that the Raspberry Pi looks good enough to eat, it’s time to place everything into the frame. First, disconnect the Pi from the monitor you were using and remove it from its case. Plug the 90-degree HDMI adaptor in the back of your almost complete smart mirror and connect it to the micro HDMI cord. Then, plug in the power cable for the monitor. Screw the case onto the monitor’s back on the side, then place the Pi back in its case and connect it to its power source and micro HDMI cord.
Step 9: Final Assembly
To avoid having a mess of wires in the back of your smart mirror, tie them together with a plastic tie or tape. Don’t forget to drill some vents in the back frame to allow airflow and a place to run the cables.
Step 10: The Results!
Now your smart mirror is ready to be Used! Plugin the device to witness the fruits of your labor. After reading this DIY smart mirror guide, you’ll be able to make your own.
Installing Face Detection Module
For the true Macguyvers out there, you can attach the Raspberry Pi camera to create a facial recognition feature. Facial detection means you can turn on your smart mirror or other devices just by looking at the screen.
The MMM-Face-recognition-SMAI module has a few dependencies required before operating.
- OpenCV Face Recognition by Ageitgey.
- Raspberry Pi Camera Module
- Raspberry Pi 4 2GB+ (Recommended)
Once you have attached the camera to your mirror, you can open up the Raspberry Pi terminal app and copy and paste the facial recognition software into the app just as you did with Magic Mirror.
You will want to install each library dependency separately and, at the end of it, be able to customize your profile photo. The process works like this:
Step 1 – Install the module.
Step 2 – Add files to the Config.js.
Whether you were able to build the full touch screen smart mirror or not, we hope that you enjoyed the article. If you do decide to purchase a smart mirror consider one without a contract that is easy to pay back in installments. Many high-tech smart mirrors come with contracts. Hilo will never charge subscription fees to give you access to all the features that await your home.
Magic On The Wall