I recently received a review unit of the Embrace Smart Mirror . It’s basically a 24-inch Android tablet mounted behind a mirror of about 40 inches. It works well when third-party software is installed. Here is what I learned.
It is impossible to get a good picture of the intelligent mirror
I tried a tripod, a selfie stick, and every possible angle and I could not get an image that does justice to this mirror. It seems better in person than these pictures show. When the light in the bathroom is lit, the text on the mirror seems to float on the surface. It seems very good. The hour is beautiful and great, and the data below is accessible by standing a few meters.
When the room is dark, the screen of the Android device is revealed because it can not reach the real black. The screen behind the mirror shines in gray. This is not a big problem. The Android device turns off after a period of inactivity and is often triggered by the light that turns on the bathroom. More often than not, people who enter the room will be greeted with a standard mirror until the light is turned on.
There are a handful of smart mirror apps, but few are worth it.
This smart mirror has not been bundled with any software outside of Android. It’s a bummer but not a bargain breaker. There are several smart mirror Android apps in the Play Store but I’ve only found one that I like.
I installed Mirror Mirror (get it) because the interface is clean, uses nice fonts and there is just enough customization but it would be nice to select different locations for the data modules. The application was updated in July 2017, to use at your own risk.
Another similar option is this software developed by Max Braun, a Google X robot scientist. His smart mirror was a hit in 2016, and he included instructions on how to build it here and downloaded the software here GitHub .
Children love it.
I have good kids who grew up around technology. Nothing impresses these jerks, though, and it’s my fault. But they like this smart mirror. They will not stop touching it, leaving fingerprints everywhere. They quickly figured out how to exit the mirror software and download a bunch of games on the device. I entered the two children huddled in the dark bathroom playing games and watching YouTube, instead, your knowledge, playing games or watching YouTube on countless other devices of the House.
This is the purpose of the device, however. The company that makes this model advertises it as a way to get YouTube in the bathrooms so that a person can wear makeup while looking at beauty youTubers. It works for that too. There is just a little bit of latency when you tap the screen through the mirror. This device is not as fast to use as a new Android tablet, but as it is sealed so as to prevent moisture from getting in, you can safely go to a bathroom torrid.
Adults will find this frivolous.
I have a lot of gadgets in my house, and my friends are used to it. Their reaction to this smart mirror was very different from any other device, however.
“What’s that, Matt,” they will say behind the closed door of the bathroom. I’ll shout back, “It’s a smart mirror.” They flush the water, go out and give me the biggest eyeroll.
I have not yet had an adult who says something nice about this mirror.
It is frivolous.
A smart mirror is a stupid gadget. To some extent, it’s one, but in the end, it’s just another gadget to tell you the time. It collects fingerprints like crazy, and the Android screen is not bright enough to use it as an ordinary video viewer or an incognito television.
As for this particular smart mirror, the Embrace Smart Mirror, the hardware is solid but does not include any intelligent mirror software. The mirror is rather slim and easily hangs on the wall thanks to a VESA port. There are hidden physical controls at the bottom of the camera, including a switch to manually turn off the camera. It is IP65 certified so it can handle a bathroom. A motion detector does a good job by turning on the device. If you do not have children, it should remain without traces.
The Embrace Smart Mirror does not come with any intelligent mirror software. The instructions and videos tell users to add widgets to the Android home screen. It does not work for me, and I expect that such a product will include at least the necessary software. Right now, after this product is out of the box, it’s just an Android tablet behind a mirror, and that’s lame. Fortunately, there are some free apps on the Play Store to remedy this problem.
At $ 1,299, the Embrace Smart Mirror is a widely sold product, but among the cheapest smart mirrors on the market. Of course, you can still build one yourself, and as The Verge points out, it’s pretty easy.