Mirror Mirror On The Wall
The magic mirror raspberry pi project is perfect if you are looking for a project to bring technology and functionality together. Michael Teeeuw at Xonay Labs has created a Magic Mirror Raspberry Pi Project that looks clean and serves a unique purpose. What is most impressive about this project is hiding all of the cords associated with powering and displaying the output of a Pi behind a one way mirror. No doubt making the mirror frame took some skill as well. This post will review his mirror project as well as a new take on the magic mirror, with a free download for a web interface to display on your very own RPI mirror project. Below is Michael’s completed Magic Mirror with the time, weather, and a motivational quote.
If you are into web design, coding a simple user interface, and a little home DIY mirror frame making, this project is right up your alley. Essentially a Raspberry Pi mirror is taking a computer screen or any type of monitor and putting it behind a one way mirror. That is actually the easiest part. The hard part is finding a way to hide the power cords and the HDMI cord. Also, if you want to add an interface, or a display to the magic mirror a single page website will need to be created. In order to have the mirror to have a display you must have some type of monitor behind the mirror and a way to serve up the content to the mirror. You could launch a browser in full screen mode with a website showcasing a magic mirror display. Or if you really want to get techie with this project you can install a web server on the Raspberry Pi and have the page hosted from the Pi. Combine a WiFi dongle and you can interact with the mirror. Perhaps having the mirror turn into a slideshow of recent Facebook pictures for when friends and family come over.
Parts List for Magic Mirror Raspberry Pi Project
Any Raspberry Pi model will technically work. However, if you want WiFi or Ethernet capabilities you better get the Model B or Raspberry Pi Model B+. Search the shop to find the lowest prices on the following items:
[su_tab title=”Raspberry Pi Model B or Model B+”]
The main hardware difference between a Raspberry Pi Model B and a Model B+ is the amount of USB adapters on the border, along with a few other performance upgrades. For the magic mirror project either one will work. However, if you want to hook an external usb drive and a WiFi-dongle you will only need two usb ports at the end of the project but having four (Model B+) makes setting up the Raspberry Pi much more enjoyable. You can purchase either Pi here.
[su_tab title=”Rasberry Pi Power Cable”]
Micro USB charger. Read here about power requirements. I had some issues with my Pi when I was under powering it. It is recommend you find a micro-usb charger that is exactly what the Pi needs. Because the mirror project requires little from the GUI there are ways to turn off resources so not as much power is drained. Here is a great Pi power supply to start your mirror project with.
[su_tab title=”SD/Micro SD Card”]
The Raspberry Pi is awesome because any SD card can contain a couple of OS (operating systems for the Raspberry Pi). For this mirror project you will probably not need to remove the SD card from the Pi. So one card will be plenty. It is recommend you get a SD Card with at least 8G of space. If you are using a Model B Pi, it will require a standard SD card. If you are using the Model B+ it will require a micro-sd card.
[su_tab title=”HDMI Cable”]
The best way to display the web interface on the Raspberry Pi Magic Mirror is to use a hdmi cable. I would recommend finding the shortest possible HDMI cable as you will need to hide it. However, a 6 foot might be ideal for other projects in the future or if you wanted to run the cable behind the mirror for other project ideas. HDMI can be expensive so here are some cheap Amazon HDMI cables you can buy through the Bakery Shop and Amazon.
[su_tab title=”One-way reflective mirror”]
This could be the hardest item to find for this mirror project. If you have a local glass shop near your house you could try there. However, I think I will buy a piece of glass and put a one way reflective film over it. Here is a place on Amazon with good reviews selling the one way mirror film. *Disclaimer, I don’t know how well this mirror will turn out with this type of reflective film. I will buy some and try it and show my results. Here is where you can buy it for the mirror
[su_tab title=”TV/Computer monitor”]
Any TV or Computer monitor will work as long as it has the ability to accept HDMI. Remember we want it to be thin, require the ability to change screen brightness, and have an easy way to hide the power cord. It would be ideal for the power cord to connect below the monitor to go down behind the mirror when it is on the wall.
[su_tab title=”Custom mirror frame”]
You will need to design a custom mirror frame. There are no instructions for this as your mirror size will depend on the monitor and what design you want the mirror to take on. I will post my method when I complete the project.
[su_tab title=”Web Interface”]
The Raspberry Pi Magic Mirror Web Interface is really the fun part of this project. Not only do you get to practice some coding but you can learn about how a webserver works on a Raspberry Pi. The mirror will require the static HTML document to sit on the monitor. I will give a free download of a web interface for the mirror but I will also make a quick tutorial on how to set up a webserver and a static page if you want to learn some HTML/CSS.
How to make a Raspberry Pi Magic Mirror
I haven’t actually completed this project although it is on my to do list. If you want to tackle this project I recommend heading over to Xonay Labs and following his instructions. This is definitely on my list of things to do. I am going to slightly tweak this mirror project and make it a little more interactive. I won’t reveal all of the magic that will be in the mirror but hopefully this will get completed in early 2015.
Raspberry Pi Mirror Interface
To make this post more than just leaching off Micheal’s time and talent I will include a free download of a web interface that can be uploaded to your Pi, and used as the basis for your Pi’s mirror interface. I am revamping my code to make the mirror interface more design oriented. Stay tuned.