Smart mirrors feature electronic displays behind the glass that can project different types of content on the actual mirror. We used to admire smart mirrors and similar technology in futuristic movies but we can now have things such as smart mirrors in our own homes. In fact, we can make a smart mirror on our own. We recently wrote a tutorial where we showed you how to build your own smart mirror, including the entire process of building, installation, and choosing the materials. The tutorial in the project area was inspired by Dylan Pierce’s blog and his own smart mirror tutorial.
This time we are going to briefly cover the main steps of the process and focus on the technology and hardware we used along the way. Smart mirrors are quite expensive if you look for them in tech stores. However, in our tutorial we showed you how building one on your own can save you a lot of money. We will show you where you can get pieces of hardware needed to put together your own smart mirror. Without further ado, let’s get into the process!
Brief Overview of the Process
The process of building your own smart mirror starts with finding the right pieces of equipment. We will dedicate an entire section of this article to the required components of the project. Once you’ve collected the necessary hardware, you need to start building a wooden mirror case in which the mirror will be installed. The case looks like this:
Upon finishing the case, you have to place the computer monitor inside it and position the Raspberry Pi, which will power the smart mirror.
After following the installation process as we described in the project, you will have to turn the Raspberry Pi into a kiosk and then configure your network. Once you finish setting up the web page and installing the software, your smart mirror will be ready to go! You can find detailed instructions in our step-by-step guide on how to build your own smart mirror today!
We focused on the detailed description of the process in our Imaginghub project. This time we will go over the hardware required for the project. Below is a list of all items that we used in our tutorial, as well as a suggestion as to where you can get them!
• Two-way mirror – When it comes to choosing a two-way mirror, it is important to measure the size of your computer monitor and choose a mirror that features similar measurements. You can find two-way mirrors at great prices on Amazon. There is a variety of products you can choose from and there are multiple price ranges as well. For example, you can get this mirror for only 30$, whereas you can go for higher quality versions that go for 100$.
• Computer monitor – When it comes to choosing the monitor for the project, it is important to find a good quality monitor at an affordable price. Going way too out of budget for hardware doesn’t make sense since we are building this smart mirror to save money in the first place. Therefore, the goal is to find a good monitor at an affordable prices. Luckily, Amazon has an entire section of computer accessories including monitors that go from 50 to 100$ in price. One product we would recommend for the project is the Acer Ultra-Thin Zero Frame monitor. As its name says, the monitor is very thin, which is perfect for building a smart mirror. It also has no frame, which is exactly what we need for the project. Plus, it costs less than 100$!
• Raspberry Pi – There is no better place to look for a Raspberry Pi than The Pi Hut. This store focuses on Raspberry Pi sales and they offer fast shipping and returns in case anything goes wrong. Another site that you can check out if you’re looking for a good bargain on your Raspberry Pi is uk.pi-supply.com!
• SD card – Memory SD cards are available at every tech store so they are pretty easy to find. We recommend looking into bestbuy.com for a wide variety of SD cards on sale. Make sure to choose an SD card with 8GB of memory in order to support the Smart Mirror.
• Network adapter – When it comes to network adapters, we recommend high quality Bluetooth network adapters for the project. One way to find affordable network adapters is on Amazon. Another great retailer that offers network adapters at affordable prices is firstshop.co. Definitely check both sources prior to making the final purchase!
• Wooden frame – You can build your own wooden frame if you have pieces of wood available. Those who have experience with DIY projects and woodwork will find this task quite easy. However, if you’ve never worked with wood and you’re not sure how to build a frame on your own, you can order a custom frame for a smart mirror project on a site called twowaymirrors.com.
• HDMI-to-VGA adapter – VGA converters are quite easy to find. Most local tech stores should have this piece of equipment and it is usually very affordable. You can also order cheap VGA adapters from banggood.com.
• Mouse and keyboard – A mouse and a keyboard are also pretty easy to find in any tech store near you. If you’re looking to shop online, we recommend purchasing these pieces of hardware from staples.com, as they offer quite fast shipping and great quality products.
Now that you know where you can get the hardware required for this project, head over to our Imaginghub page and start building your own smart mirror today! Once you go through the guide you will realize that the process is actually a lot easier than you imagined.
Available Kits for Building Smart Mirror
There are some kits, with which you can easily build your own mirror as well. You can use solutions such as the Magic Mirror kit, which you can install on your Raspberry Pi in order to power the smart mirror. This open source smart mirror platform can easily be installed by simply integrating the code available on their website. For more details, head over to our project page here!