Researchers from the New York Times R&D Lab have developed an innovative, voice-controlled mirror that could change the way they deliver content…and the way we monitor our health. Dubbed “Magic Mirror”, this mirror features motion sensing technology to read physical cues from a user, voice recognition to detect verbal cues, and an RFID tag reader to recognize objects in the mirror’s proximity.
Smart mirrors of this kind are not a completely novel concept; you’ve seen them in numerous sci-fi movies, and multiple companies are developing such devices. However, the NY Times mirror is unique in that it is completely built from readily available parts. The mirror itself is said to be a Mirror TV from Philips. The motion sensing technology is simply a Microsoft Kinect device. The most proprietary part of the Magic Mirror is most likely the NY Times API used to deliver its own content to a variety of platforms. In all, it’s said that the mirror could easily be sold for only a few hundred dollars.
One neat application of the Magic Mirror that is demoed in the video below is medication tracking. In the demo, the mirror recognizes a box of off-the-shelf medication and a bottle of prescription medication tagged with an RFID chip. It’s able to display important information, such as directions for use, a schedule of when the medication should be taken based on your calendar, doctor information, and the day of your next appointment with the doctor. And of course, as the mirror is a potential marketing tool, it can also be used to display promotions, such as a coupon.
Link to the New York Times Research & Development Group