9 min read

3 unlikely industries being transformed by smart mirrors

Marek Gajewski

Director, Embedded Engineering

Smart mirrors are quickly becoming more common. As a technology that just a few years back was considered to be the stuff of sci-fi films, we’re now seeing many real-world uses pop up faster than most people can imagine them. From the time they were introduced, smart mirrors were thought to be a tool used primarily in retail, so that people could see in real time what they looked like with the clothes they were planning to buy, or if they wanted to order an item that was out of stock. But other industries realized that they could use the same sensors in existing smart mirrors in a completely different environment.

Here are 3 unlikely industries using smart mirrors in an innovative way:

Hotel guest experience

Hotels are using smart mirrors to integrate all aspects of the guest experience into one centralized system. These devices can be touch or voice-controlled, and look like a standard mirror without the nighttime backlight.

The mirrors can also switch between functioning as a television, or having a user interface to interact with. This is where things get interesting. Guests can do anything from ordering room service to asking questions about tourist activities, somewhat like a concierge. They can also control every aspect of the room such as raising or lowering the heat levels, asking for extra amenities, and so on.

Furthermore, the smart mirrors are also helping hotels generate more revenue. For a small fee, guests can gain access to all the features that the virtual concierge platform has to offer. The platform can direct guests to the spa area by allowing them to make appointments, and also advertise special offers happening in the hotel.

Automotive safety

In the automotive industry, there is a different center focus: safety. Yet, even with safety as the focal point of smart mirror implementation in modern cars, the end result is that the driver experience becomes more comfortable.

By using the smart sensors on the mirrors and the display on the dash of the vehicle, drivers can get a view of their blind spots, thus reducing the number of accidents on the road. Other smart mirrors are replacing traditional rearview mirrors, and combine all of the camera views mounted on the car to provide the driver with multiple angles under various conditions.

Nissan, for example, developed a smart mirror that displays the view of a camera which is mounted on the rear end of the car. By connecting the smart mirror to the camera’s view, drivers can avoid distractions such as impaired sight due to sunlight reflection, or other passengers moving around in the back seats.

Disease prevention

A comfortable hotel room and driving safety are interesting applications for smart mirrors, but what about using them to monitor health?

As it turns out, smart mirrors pilot programs are being performed in the healthcare industry to prevent health complications. The most interesting case is how they can analyze the human body and take note of any early signs of disease. To do this, the mirror uses a combination of cutting edge cameras, 3D scanners and sensors and facial recognition when the patient looks into it. The mirror measures weight changes, heart rate, and facial expressions.

However, the mirrors don’t only need to be used to detect diseases. A simple checkup at the doctor in the future could quite simply consist of the patient standing in front of the mirror for about a minute. After the mirror has scanned and analyzed the patient’s body, it can tell them how healthy they are, while also suggesting what kinds of improvements can be made, just like a personal doctor. Down the road, the same technology could be used to perform instant check-ups, while also gathering patient data and storing it in the system for future reference.

Sensors and smart mirrors are a hot topic, as they are no longer part of a distant future. It’s easy to imagine the many technological developments our world might see, but at times, it’s shocking to realize how quickly those developments are taking place. Surely, there are many more industries that will find clever uses for this once-futuristic technology.

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