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Google engineer built the most beautiful smart mirror ever

by Brandon Russell | February 2, 2016February 2, 2016 9:00 pm PDT

Up until now I haven’t seen a smart home device that I absolutely needed, but a Google engineer has finally made one. Max Braun, seeking to make the smart device of his dreams, created a mirror that needs to be in every new home going forward, because having the Internet in your pocket isn’t enough. Are smart mirrors the future? No, but they sure are beautiful.

To be clear, the concept of a smart mirror isn’t new, and Braun himself links back to plenty of inspiration around the Web. Braun’s solution, however, is one of the most elegant I’ve seen, and should be a thing Google offers as part of its smart home push. If not a mirror, Google should release something that displays a constant feed of Google Now cards—like a visual Echo that users can talk to and easily see weather, traffic and more.

The finished product Braun came up with almost doesn’t look real, and he admits himself he ran into plenty of dead ends before getting it right. But just look at it! How beautiful. I’ve never wanted to buy a mirror until this moment.

“Unless the weather is cloudy, there will be little color in the UI, but for the most part the text and icons are monochrome to prevent them from being too distracting,” Braun said.

Braun added that he’s still playing with the layout and UI, but designed it using simple Android APIs that can display pretty much anything that has a Google Now card. It’s all hands-free, too, updating automatically throughout the day, so all that’s required from the end-user is to stare and admire its beauty.

There are tutorials out there if you’re looking to build a smart mirror of your own, but I haven’t seen anything quite so nice. Braun said he might write a tutorial of his own (complete with pictures), but for now you can get a look behind the mirror he made to see what parts are used.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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