Smart Mirror; disconnect without sacrificing connectivity.

Nicholas Nothom

Project Significance:

I propose a shift in how people acquire information. My research is exploring a new way to use technology to be more informed. The state of innovation currently is to provide more information, but less interaction to get it. To state briefly; the device I aim to create is a “smart mirror”. It is a wall mounted mirror which displays relevant items to the user such as weather, scheduling, messages, and other fields of interest. The mirror will solve a problem that many people experience each day and night; getting information without distraction. Before bed, the user may want to know whether it will snow the next morning so they can plan their commute. When using a computer or mobile device, the user will often become distracted in other media. In the future, the user will glance at their wall to find that information instantly. It is the first device of its type to orient itself as a companion to the user rather than another device to operate. It also features spectacular voice control. When speaking to the device, it doesn't feel like dictating to a machine, it feels like talking to a person. The combination of these features is limitless.

The goal of this project is to explore the impending shift in how people receive information. For centuries wall mounted clocks have provided people with access to the time at a glance. In airports, displays show the timetable so people can quickly see what they need. In Times Square, massive tickers display news and advertisements. This project will personalize that concept and bring it into the home. People are advancing, and the amount of information relevant to them is increasing. Rather than a new wall mounted display, I will add this functionality into something everyone already has to make the device look at home in your home. This technology doesn't add to the user’s tasks, it aggregates existing content into a central location, simplifying it in the process.

This device aims to satisfy people who are looking for a new way to experience technology and will spend more to be part of it. They are not risk averse when it comes to trying new things. They want to be in the first wave of people who define how our information can be displayed through other mediums. This group will be generally gender neutral. They are affluent HHI (Household Income) $100K+. They range in age from 18-54, focused in the mid-30’s. They are well-informed, in touch with culture and trends, and forward thinkers. The audience seeks the luxury of unplugging. Many complain about “device overload”. The mirror lets them disconnect, without sacrificing connectivity. Innovation is about doing more with less. The mirror lets people use their devices less, while being presented with more. People will desire this. Additionally, having the latest device gives social currency and has significant badge value. This is a major step in the evolution of being informed. This is the moment technology is starting to get out of the way. Heads will be up, hands will be set free.

Research Methodology

The process of this project will follow a set of recurring steps. These steps will occur on a large scale as well as in smaller iterations throughout the project. First I will acquire information about what functionality my target audience would desire. Next I will consider each of those goals and assess them for how possible and useful each of them is. Once I have scoped achievable goals I will research what programmatic methods could be used to reach them. Then I will implement the chosen avenue to create the functionality. Once the goal is complete I will present the results to my audience and use that information to improve. After this process I will work to create a meaningful presentation on my findings.

Anticipated Outcomes

By the end of my timeline I will have explored this new type of interface. I will discover what the audience desires. My research will be a process of figuring out what works, and what doesn’t. I will answer questions such as; “What is this type of device useful for?”,  “What strengths can be utilized?”,  “What should be avoided?”,  “Who can take advantage of this?”.  By the Spring I will have investigated an uncharted area of technology.

Timeline

I project it will take six months to complete my goals for this project. My initial prototype has been completed, so entirety of the remaining time will be spent creating the software. This process has subsections, some of which may progress concurrently, or in multiple instances.

        I. Initial Market Research

        II. Research on Goals and Scope

        III. Research on Programmatic Strategies

        IV. Software Creation

        V. Testing and Feedback

        VI. Presentation and Marketing

Budget

LED IPS Panel

$300

Speakers

$75

Frame Materials, Mounting Bracket

$25

One-Way Glass

$50

Presentation Costs (Printing, travel, other assets)

$50

Total

$500