Talking Mirror

‘Mirror, mirror, on the wall, please go open up the door.’
Think you have seen it all? How about a mirror with a talking avatar that pops-up to notify you each time something happens around the house? When a delivery guy is at the door, your loyal mirror servant will not only notify you with a deep British accent, but will also show you the security camera’s footage. When your wife enters the garage, the avatar will connect to the driveway camera and let you know. So what is the only downside to this wonderful device, besides the $30,000 price tag? You need to own a fairly advanced home automation system (but if you are really serious about getting a digital butler you probably own one already).

The U.S. Company Themeaddicts developed the 30-inch M30P Magic Message Mirror as a new kind of entertainment/digital assistant. The technology behind the patented invention comes from the special effects movie industry (explaining the exceptional price tag). The avatar that appears in the mirror is called Basil and is programmed to appear in specific situations which it can “sense” through cameras and other sensors included in a modern home automation system.

An interesting feature of the M30P is the split mirror view, which causes part of the mirror to display the avatar while another part displays an image from one of the security cameras. The M30P software can actually tell the difference between a person and a car moving along in the driveway and inform the owner accordingly.

One thing that seems to be missing from the M30P is voice recognition abilities. Currently, the M30P is a relatively passive device, which can only inform and display. Voice recognition capabilities would allow the system to receive and follow orders, turning the M30P into a more useful tool capable of performing tasks such as locking doors or windows, turning the light on and off and heating water. Maybe the next version of Basil will be capable of carry out these tasks as well.

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