Product Review: A Look at Facial Recognition Technology and MirroCool Smart Mirror
The smart mirror that knows you.
MirroCool is a Smart Mirror, Personal Assistant, and Home Security Device all wrapped into one device. The technology is built into a mirror, so it’s like being able to access any of the personal assistant apps on your smartphone without even having your cell phone on you, keeping your hands free to perform your morning routine. This device is the brainchild of Wojtek Kaszycki, a serial entrepreneur and the CEO of the San Francisco-based startup.
The Tech Ranch likes that MirroCool syncs with your iPhone or Android device to ensure all your daily reminders, calendar events, weather updates, news headlines, or even stock market ticker readings are right there on display the moment your mirror activates.
One of the most intriguing features about MirroCool is that it uses Facial Gesture Recognition (FGR) technology, a little-used technology in home automation. It does not use voice or a touchscreen, so it’s completely hands-free and voice free. The device activates once it recognizes your face, so you could be brushing your teeth, shaving, applying makeup, or blow-drying your hair at the same time as organizing your day and catching up on current events. Think increased productivity and efficiency.
If you live with other people, the technology behind MirroCool can differentiate each face and switch displays accordingly. During testing for this device, the mirror was able to distinguish between me and my husband. It would then sync to the correct phone and change the information on display depending on who was in the bathroom at that time.
To activate different functions within the technology, you simply wink, close your eyes, twitch your nose or smile. There’s no need to talk to or touch the mirror to alter the display or use various functions.
Camera Function for those Selfies
MirroCool allows you to take the perfect selfie by winking to activate the camera function. There’s no need to stand in awkward or unnatural positions with your arm outstretched holding a cell phone to take a great selfie. Whatever reflection you see in the mirror is the photo you capture.
It’s also ideal for taking group photos, as the mirror sees exactly what you see. Line everyone up in front of the mirror. When you’re happy with the reflection you see in the mirror, wink to activate the camera and you have the perfect group shot that leaves no one out.
You can store your photos or data easily using MirroCloud, the company’s online storage space. Alternatively, you can choose to share your selfies on your preferred social media profile while you’re still standing in front of your mirror. How fun is that?
Video Camera Capabilities
You can program your MirroCool to send live streaming video of what’s happening in your home to your mobile device while you’re out and it can be used as a HD security cam. The portable device is usually placed in the bathroom but can be put into the living room, hallway or any other areas of the house and it will determine that a face it doesn’t know could be a potential intruder.
Program your MirroCool device to alert you on your cell phone immediately if an intruder is detected while you’re not home. Alternatively, you can program the device to record any activity it sees, so it acts as an invisible security cam that no one knows is there.
Compatibility isn’t an issue with MirroCool and it can be programmed to suit your individual preferences. Sync the device with whichever online calendar you use, whether it’s Google Calendar, iCloud or Office 365.
It’s completely up to you what types of updates or information you want it to display when you wake up in the morning. MirroCool is designed to be your automated personal assistant. It shows you information directly from your phone, so the apps you already use can be customized to show you the information you want to see.
The Facing Gestures Recognition technology really is amazing to see in action. To be able to read your upcoming schedule for the day hands-free and without having to use your voice or touch the screen is a definite time-saver, and helps increase productivity.
If you’re interested in being one of the first people to access MirroCool when it becomes available, become a backer on the company’s Kickstarter campaign. Backers qualify for discounted prices and early access to the device, plus a variety of other perks besides.
The retail price ranges from $299 to $500 depending on the size and type of glass you select.