Building your very own smart mirror is not big of a deal once you get the steps right. It is actually very easy to put together. The process is not as difficult as you think if you follow this DIY mirror guide step by step.
This guide can be divided into two parts. The first part is to tell you what you need to prepare before DIY. The second part is the formal steps to DIY.
1. The materials you need to prepare
Before you kick start your journey of making a smart mirror, there are some supplies you must have ready in your hand. You will need:
- Older Pi with a proper Wi-Fi adapter
- Monitor, preferably with in-build HDMI
- A two-way glass mirror
- Keyboard and a mouse for setting up Pi
- The mirror obviously needs a frame
- And some basic tools
2. The features you want in your smart mirror
Before you start making a smart mirror for your own use, there are some features that you want your smart mirror to have. Try to list those down and work on those points first. Most people try to make a smart mirror within a smart budget plan. The touch capability is one to be added to your mirror for better use.
3. The ways to control
There are various ways in which you can control your smart mirror. Apart from the touch screen, you have a mouse and keyboard, camera or facial recognition, Alexa voice control, buttons, and Google home voice control.
4. For the operating systems
There are a few simple operating systems available, which can go great with your smart mirror. Those are android, iOS, Windows, Linux, PS4, Wii U, and XBOX 360. Among the lot, if you are aiming for the most popular step, then it will be a recycled computer monitor, proficiently connected to Raspberry Pi. Loading it with MagicMirror software is a simple, and cost-effective option!
5. DIY step #1
The first thing you need with a smart mirror is to build a frame and its associated hardware. The software side is not that big of a deal to handle as it is already taken care of by various companies. So, once you have the Pi all set up, you need to install some programs like MagicMirror. For that, you just have to run the code line on Raspberry Pi.
In case you want to complete the task manually, you will need an installation guide for that. The entire installation process won’t take more than 10 to 20 minutes. So, when done, you are technically covered for good. F
or the Raspberry Pi, there are a few extra steps in a basic setup like screensaver disabling, screen rotation, and ensuring that Wi-Fi remains active and not in power-saving mode. MagicMirror has these points documented initially. So, you just need to follow the given instructions. Remember that your smart mirror will be a touchscreen device, so you must handle the pieces with care from the very beginning.
We’ve released hundreds of images of beautiful frames on this page. Click here.
6. DIY step #2
Now the time has come for you to customize the smart mirror. If you are using MagicMirror, then it runs on some modules. Some examples are:
- News Feed
- Weather Forecast
- Current Weather
- Hello World
Among the lot, some like the Weather Forecast will need some extra setup. Here, you might have to register separately for an API key and then add locations. However, MagicMirror is one open-source. So, you will come across multiple third-party developers to help you create added modules. That takes care of everything right from commuting time to voice control and more.
7. DIY step #3
To follow the detailed instruction, make sure to keep an eye on the documentation page from GitHub. As a quick overview, you must first install the module in the MagicModule/modules directory. After that, you will be given a code, which you need for the module to config/config.js file.
Make sure to use a text editor for that. This file, in particular, is where you get the chance to customize things, where everything will be located on the screen.
8. DIY step #4
Once you have arranged everything according to your will, the time has come to turn on the smart screen into the mirror you have wanted. For that, try to put the two-way mirror within the frame. The reflective side needs to be on the outer portion. Later, mount it directly onto the given monitor.
As another option, in case you are trying to add some more DIY fun to this process, you can take the hardware of the monitor out of the plastic casing and create permanent housing for it. You can even create one for your mirror as well.
9. The final say
These are a few of the simple steps you might want to learn whenever you are aiming to create a smart mirror. The steps are simple and mostly done using a little bit of concentration and finesse. Once you are done, you will have a long-lasting DIY mirror for your use. You can start using it on a daily basis.