Mirror TV or Smart Mirror?

Smart Mirrors – way more useful than a mirror TV

It wasn’t long ago, maybe 5 years that mirror TVs were the new and upcoming thing. Times have changed, and for the better I believe.

About five to ten years ago mirror TVs were a hot commodity for high end hotels, celebrities, and the ever resourceful DIY weekend warrior. They were cool, mostly functional, and almost nobody had them. And there was a good reason they were so scarce; usability. In a perfect world the mirror TV would be a perfect mirror when the TV was off, and 100% bright when the TV was on.  This was not the case.

Even the best TV mirrors would become almost unusable if there was more than just a bit of ambient light, or if there was a light background behind the viewer (or reflected by the mirror from somewhere in the room).  These are not exclusive to mirror TVs, there was a time that people would decide on plasma TVs vs LCD TVs based on what lighting conditions were in the room, and if they could close the shades enough to justify buying that large inexpensive plasma TV.  Plasma TVs have come a long way, and I wish I could say the same about mirror TVs.  It just wasn’t worth the effort and loss of quality to have your TV behind a mirror.

Jump ahead a few years and a new use case has come around.  To say it is a new use would not be honest, there were mirror TV critics years ago saying that watching TV in front of a mirror was not the best use. Catching the news headlines, traffic, and calendar notifications while getting ready in front of your bathroom mirror was the best use of the technology, not watching a marathon of The Walking Dead.

There are a lot of DIY smart mirror projects out there, here’s just a handful:

So do yourself a favour, forget the mirror TV, and build a smart mirror!