Makr Mirror Open Source, Extensible Smart Mirror Project Hits Kickstarter

Raspberry Pi smart mirror kit builds on the popular Magic Mirror platform with the promise of a plug-and-play out-the-box experience.

Makr Mirror's Adam Levine has launched a crowdfunding campaign for his company's first product, the eponymous Makr Mirror: an open source, fully extensible smart mirror designed to make it as easy as possible to get started - going so far as to promise a "plug and play" experience.

Smart mirrors, while looking futuristic, are typically simple devices: A compact computer and LCD panel are built into a frame onto which is placed a partially-silvered mirror cover. When the display is off, it's a simple - if bulky - mirror; when the display is on, text and pictures appear from behind the mirrored surface. There have been plenty of smart mirror builds over the years, but Makr Mirror is aiming to simplify things with a ready-to-run design which can nevertheless be customised and extended in a variety of ways.

"We want to empower people by providing high quality, integrated devices for the home that are ready to hang on the wall out of the box, or ready for you to customise," claims Levine, who positions the Makr Mirror as being suitable for personal and business use. "We learned about the 'Magic Mirror' open source project from Reddit back in 2016 and set out to build hardware to run it.

"Through sourcing materials for a custom build we learned a lot through trial and error and thought there might be folks much like us who would love to try out futuristic projects like Smart Mirrors, but don’t consider themselves hands-on enough to do the construction part. Our company is catering to people like us, so we came up with the idea to sell a smart mirror kit to streamline the hardware portion of the project, that still allows people to write software integrations."

The Makr Mirror kit itself is based on MirrorView glass fitted into an aluminium frame which houses a 21.5" Full HD display panel, a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, and optional extras including a camera and USB microphone. The software, meanwhile, is a customised variant of the open source Magic Mirror project, which Levine claims has been enhanced to offer "a seamless out of the box experience."

Levine and colleagues have set pricing for the Makr Mirror kit at $649, with the first ten backers receiving the camera and microphone as standard; backers after this will need to pay an additional $50 for the camera and microphone bundle, but will be given a choice of silver, grey, or black frame where the early-bird backers get grey alone.

The project is now live on Kickstarter, seeking a $65,000 goal. Levine has not, however, indicated whether the hardware design will be released under an open source licence along with the Magic Mirror software.

internet of thingssmart mirrorhome automation
Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin.
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