I saw a lot of smart mirrors over here and I really wanted to build my own. I read a lot about people making them based on raspberry pi but I was disapointed about how they all looks the same. I wanted more features than just date and weather, and I wanted to customize it a lot ! I wanted mine to be sexy AND smart !
What about sexy ? I first looked on widgets available on raspi-based smart mirroir. They all was white and static. I wanted widgets more like those available using Rainmeter. Bad luck, this software is only available for windows device. Any windows device is WAY more expensive than a raspi... damn!
What about smart then ? I want my mirror to be smart because I'm not ! I'm currently developer but i'm not very familiar with linux command line. So if I had to use an open source AI or develop one on my own, I will never look myself in this mirror... What if I used an AI from a very big software company. It shouldn't be perfect but a good start, don't you think ? Siri, Alexa, Cortana... Hey ladies, wanna ride ?
My previous choice let me with a Windows device so... Cortana, I chose you !
Step 1: Gathering Stuff
Okay, what can look like a windows device that can fit in behind a smart mirror ? After few research, I found that some PC sticks are available for about 100$.
- I choose an Intel PC Stick from 2015 at 150$
- For the display, I had an old 24" monitor that really beg me for a second life. How can say no ?! : 0$
- For the frame and the support, I'll do that with old planks : 0$
- For the mirror, I'll use a transparent plastic piece with a special acrylic sheet to do the mirror effect 30$
- The PC stick hasn't embedded microphone so I bought one on Amazon for 6$
- I bought two spotlights : 2 x 30$
- and a little glass tablet : 10$
Step 2: Frame It !
I'm not a wood worker. My father let me use some of his tools and help me to build a really simple frame.
Actually, it's only four planks to make the front frame and four more to make the box behind. The four planks for the front frame are holded together by two pieces of wood with screws. You can see one of them above the box.
Four more pieces hold the frame and the box together.
I will not teach you how to make a frame. Yours will be thousands time more pretty. On mine, The only tricky part was that I wanted to use a small piece of wood to switch the monitor on or off. I had to precisely aim through the front frame and the plastic sheet to be exactly on the monitor switch.
In order to hold the glass, I used some small L-shaped pieces of wood. I fixed them all around the glass with some screws.
Step 3: Add Some Lights !
My wife likes to wear makeup. I added two spotlights to help her to see more clearly what colors she picks.
With electricity cables, start the cable management problem... I used some glue to fix them inside, along the front frame. On the pictures, you can see some pieces of tape I added to maintain cable before the glue does its job.
From the front side, spots are stuck with double-sided tape.
I added a little switch to turn lights on and off. This switch can be reached by passing a hand below the frame. Like this, it's invisible from the front.
I plugged the monitor, the PC stick and the lights into an electrical power strip and this will be the only thing to came out of the frame.
Step 4: Set It Up !
I wanted to my mirror to be customizable but not only on the software side. The way I set my monitor on the wall let me use this frame or build another one later !
I fix on my wall two vertical pieces of wood (the blue ones). On these pieces, I added a plank that will be an "interface" between them and the monitor (the gray one). I use the monitor VESA holes to fix it on the gray plank.
On top on them, I added two metal pieces in shape of L that will hold the wood frame later. My frame just lay on this two L pieces with four screws to prevent it to fall. In this way, I can easily remove the frame to replace it or do some maintenance.
Step 5: Customization !
As planned, I used Rainmeter to display widget on the desktop.
For the clock : http://jelle-dekkers.deviantart.com/art/Nougat-Clo...
For the weather and news : http://santiagolp98.deviantart.com/art/Google-Now-...
I installed a free version of TeamViewer to do some software customization later from my desktop. I also use an UnifiedRemote server to use my smartphone as a mouse/keyboard combo.
On the picture with the clock, you can see the tiny piece of wood that I use to press on the monitor switch to turn it on or off.
Step 6: Assembly
Step 7: After Few Months...
Hardware upgrade :
The plastic sheet I used to do the mirror thing was a bit cheap. We can't see clearly us on it. I bought a real see-through glass for a better effect. You can compare on pictures before and after the real see-through glass.
Software upgrade :
I finally use windows native widget for the weather forecast. It's way more accurate and I love those kind of charts to tell me if it's gonna rain today or not !
I also use the native windows calendar because it's the only way I found to display my google agenda.
I hide their status bar with a tiny homemade rainmeter widget (basically a black rectangle).
Even if Cortana can do some things, I'd like to use some software like VoiceAttack to bind some voice commands.
Step 8: Bonus !
I invite you to see my other instructables, made around this project.
You can see on the left a car phone holder. It stucks very well on by bathroom tiles ! Now I can read morning news when I brush my teeth :D !
And on the right, you can see my little microphone to summon Cortana !