DIY Magic Mirror and Photobooth - Arduino Powered

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Picture of DIY Magic Mirror and Photobooth - Arduino Powered
mirror no frame.jpg
mirror and mantle1.jpg
mantle and mirror.jpg
inside house 2.jpg
haunted mode1.jpg
mirror pane back.jpg
An assembled kit for this project is now available from
More info at this project at
The software for this project is open source

Who's the fairest of them all. Make your own Magic Mirror and find out. The Magic Mirror can read the weather, tell you how your stocks did, can be wired to your doorbell with an IP camera video feed, turns lights & appliances on and off using X-10 control, and even has a Breathalyzer that tells you when you've had too much to drink. The Magic Mirror plays pre-recorded animations based on input from various sensors. Featuring four characters, each character responds to the sensor inputs with its own personality. Characters include a skull for your next Halloween party, a pirate, a princess character, and a really mean pumpkin who disses you New York cabbie style.

Magic Mirror Features:

  • Breathalyzer with optional Tweeting
  • Photobooth Mode (Link to Separate Instructable on Photobooth Mode)
  • Speak your Tweets from Twitter
  • Weather Forecast
  • Stock Performance
  • Sends X-10 CommandsDoorbell input with IP camera feed
  • Picasa based slideshow
  • Princess, Pirate, Halloween, Insult Characters
  • Text to Speech Mode
  • Personalize it with your own Videos
  • Runs as a native application on the PC, Mac, and Linux
El Cheapo PC or Laptop (a 3-4 Year Model will work)
Arduino Micro-Controller - $30
Used 15" LCD monitor - $50
Dielectric Glass TV Mirror 4mm (2-Way Mirror) 12x12 Sample (Optional) - $20
Magic Mirror Kit with Software
Picture Frame with Oval Matte (Optional)

Sensors (Pick and choose the sensors based on your installation)

Maxbotix Promixity Sensor
Seeedstudio or Phidgets Touch Sensors (3) - $7 each
Alcohol Sensor (1) - $7
Reed Switches (2) - $5 each
See here for all supported sensors

X-10 Components and LEDs (Optional)

X-10 Firecracker - $5 on eBay
X-10 Transceiver Module - $20
X-10 Dimmer Switches (2) - $12 each
LEDs - $5
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alinke (author) 1 year ago
nice install! on the print out resolution, if I remember, it can go up to 720 or something like that. In the advanced config program, you'll see a resolution setting, just put it at the highest res. It won't be high res/photo quality but shouldn't be pixelated either.
Thanks! I'll give it a try.
I love this! One question though. Is there a way to increase the resolution of the printed photobooth pictures?The proofs on the screen are hi-res, but the printouts are extremely pixelated. I'm using the Canon Selphy CP900.
Photo Booth.jpg
Oops. I forgot to add that I used a Microsoft HD web cam.
OCLVig2 years ago
Totally epic. Great job!
beekinfarms2 years ago
Cool instructable,

Would the software be easily adapted to the raspberry pi? How hard would it to add RFID reader?
alinke (author)  beekinfarms2 years ago
great question, I have a raspberry pi on order so I'll try it out when I get it. The key will be whether or not Flash runs on raspberry pi as the DIY Magic Mirror is Adobe Flash based. My guess is Flash is probably not officially supported so the question becomes if there is some hack/work around for it.

The better option may be Android, I just ported the DIY Magic Mirror to Android (the Android version does not yet have all the features as the PC version), that may be an easier way to go as I thought I'd read somewhere Android is available now or coming to Android. Here's the Android app of the project RFID reader wouldn't be too hard, just a matter of modifying the source,, here's the source code for the Android app
Sovereignty3 years ago
Has this ever officially received a Coolest Instructable Ever award?
GUNsicker3 years ago
Also - Is that you... Keanu Reeves?
alinke (author)  GUNsicker3 years ago
ha ha, I'll take that as a compliment, thx
maxpower495 years ago
ummm what does this have to do with the magic Magic Mirror
Do not question Magic Mirrors and the things that maybe.

if you look above the window you shall see. (pumkin head)
hihihi0hi3 years ago
That's so cool!
vistal3 years ago
Hmm i like to see a trans formers Optumis prime for my nephew how hard would that be?
alinke (author)  vistal3 years ago
You'd just need to produce the videos and then here's how to add them to the Magic Mirror Some folks have had good success with the Crazy Talk software, that would be the easiest way to author the videos.
Fireater9893 years ago
Do the kits come with the new mask version? If not, is there any way you (the supplier) can update it or do I have to buy it myself?
alinke (author)  Fireater9893 years ago
Hi, I'm not sure what the new mask version is you're referencing but send me some details and I'll look into it. The characters that the kit comes with you can see here
There's the original Mirror, then there's the Mirror, Mirror. I think you have the new one cause it was released in '08 and that's when this was written
alinke (author)  Fireater9893 years ago
yes Mirror, Mirror is the one used here
vishalapr3 years ago
I was amazed by the video!What a fantastic job u have done, wish I could make one, will try to make one soon!!!
tinker2343 years ago
nice hey could i make this in a wall and use diffrent avatars
alinke (author)  tinker2343 years ago
hey, great questions, yes, in the manual on, there are instructions for an in-wall installation and yes you can also add in your own characters, the manual explains how to do that
thanks i will pick one up evantully
typedink4 years ago
This is just great! I really wish I could afford the kit.
alinke (author)  typedink3 years ago
the kit makes the wiring easier but not needed if you are good on building circuits with the arduino, you can just use the arduino, the manual on has the schematic, you'd just need the software piece
goedeleg3 years ago
Would it work with arduino uno?
mary candy4 years ago
this is the best thing I saw here!
I am in shock. :O
mary candy4 years ago
Now this!!

is GREAT just WOW!!
Very sad. I like to contact the guy from but can find no way to do so. The "Mac" version he offers is for PPC only. The new Intel Macs can support PPC software via Rosetta, but Apple doesn't even include Rosetta in Mac OS 10.6 (2009). He really needs to recompile his Mac offerings.
alinke (author)  RichardBronosky4 years ago
Hi Richard, I have spoken to the guy at and he says he will re-compile, I will send you a message with his e-mail in case you want to contact him
lol i need that =]
manchaware5 years ago
Have you heard of the beagleboard? It's an ultra small (3"x3") pc board capable of playing HD video (via DVI-D/HDMI). It comes with 1 USB, 1 Line in, 1 Line Out, and 1 S-Video Out. And, it only requires 5V @ 500mA so you don't need a fan to cool it. It doesn't have a HDD, but instead sports an SD slot so you can probably run Debian or Ubuntu off a 1gb SD card.
maxpower495 years ago
do we have to buy the puppets
alinke (author)  maxpower495 years ago
hi, if you want to make your own animations, then yes you'd need to buy the puppets ($15 each). If you purchase the software on, the animations are included. let me know if you need anything else
dalucero6 years ago
For the touch sensor you could drill a hole halfway into the sheetrock like a mortise joint, or you could cut a hole all the way through and then cover it with one of those sheetrock repair mesh patches.
alinke (author)  dalucero6 years ago
that's a good idea, I think I'm going to try that actually, it should be much more responsive that way, thanks!
alinke (author)  alinke5 years ago
update on this one, took the advice and did it with the sheetrock repair mesh patch. That did the trick, touch sensors would perfectly now.
dalucero alinke5 years ago
awesome! glad it worked out.
Soy_Un_Oso5 years ago
that's amazing. your kids must love it, I cracked up in the video when I saw the magic mirror launching windows. it's supposed to run on magic!!!! haha
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