Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: What's Happening in Afghanistan Right Now?

By Veronique Greenwood | September 2, 2011 12:51 pm

New York Times R&D Lab: Retail and the “magic mirror” from Nieman Journalism Lab on Vimeo.

You weren’t thinking tablets and smart phones would stay cool forever, were you? They’ll go the way of the Apple Newton and the Commodore soon enough, and the New York Times will be prepared, reports Neiman Labs. The ol’ Gray Lady is preparing for the next great revolution: bathroom mirrors.

In this video taken at the paper’s R&D labs, Megan Graber of Neiman watches NYT Creative Technologist Brian House put the bathroom mirror 2.0 (codenamed “the magic mirror”) through its paces, showing how the device can respond to voice commands and even take note of RFID-tagged medicine bottles resting nearby, pulling up coupons from manufacturers and prescription information a la Internet of Things. Like the giant-iPad-style table top they’re also working on at the lab, the mirror can show you the Times front page, the latest videos, and so on while you’re brushing your teeth or having breakfast.

Some newshounds will no doubt thrill at having the latest info right there in the bathroom. Myself, I’m not sure about the wisdom of seeing the morning’s civil wars, famines, and debt crises before I’ve even had my coffee. I might just head back to bed.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
  • Chris Winter

    No doubt these things will start appearing first in upscale hotel bathrooms, so that business travelers can keep up with breaking news. Not everyone will welcome them. The prospect reminds me of my first day on the job at a certain consumer electronics outlet. As I walked through the appliance department I spotted a refrigerator with an LCD TV screen glowing on the front, just above the icemaker. I burst out laughing, earning some reproving looks from the sales staff in the department. :-)

  • floodmouse

    When I read the headline, I misinterpreted the gist of the story. I thought it was some new kind of spyware for real-time news coverage. I hope they don’t make these things two-way . . .


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