A mirror with sensors is a signpost of a future where all devices, however mundane and dumb, can use sensors, connectivity and software smarts to turn the mundane into magical. I had that thought earlier this morning when I came across this Sensor Mirror made by simplehuman, a Los Angeles company that is known for making trash cans, soap pumps and sundry other stuff for your kitchen and the bathroom.
Our sensor mirror lights up automatically as your face approaches. Its tru-lux light system simulates natural sunlight, allowing you to see full color variation, so you’ll know when your makeup is color-correct and flawless.
Sure, the $200 mirror has a whole lot of features like LED lights and a USB charger, but what I find exciting is what could be done. If simplehuman added a low-power Wi-Fi chip to this mirror they could turn this mirror into an object of daily engagement. About two years ago, I wrote this piece, “Why the future of hardware is services.”
To me, services are a way for hardware owners to increase engagement with their gadgets. When I first got Sonos, I listened to my own library of music. Then I signed up for Internet radio stations, and lately, I’ve been testing Spotify’s streaming service. Result? It’s now playing in the background, pretty much all the time. I think in our device-infested and attention-deprived lives, services — if built well — foster constant and ongoing engagement.
The mirror could connect to the internet and it could also talk to an app that is installed on your iPhone or Android device. The sensor can “sense” your face and instantly offer recommendations (or make-up tips) based on how you look on a given day or evening. Those tips could come from make-up professionals.
For guys, it could just be — dude, you missed shaving that bit in your cleft — notice that could turn them into fanatical fans of the mirror. I know I would love to be reminded that I missed a spot.
The fact is that by offering a uniquely/hyper personal experience, simplehuman can go from being an invisible brand to one that is center stage in our minds. Think of it this way — connectivity and sensors allow us to turn any large-scale platform into a personal one.
Call me crazy, by when we add a dash of connectivity to those omnipresent sensors then interesting and/or magical things can happen.