Is there such thing as a mirror capable of accurately reading every aspect of your health from mental acuity to risk of cancer and everything in between? Well, no. Or at least, not yet.
However, through combinations in bluetooth, biometrics, and camera technology, more minor medical checkups can be done with smart mirrors.
The Beginning of the Smart Mirror
Science fiction and fantasy has long discussed the possibility of computers reading a person’s health and relaying that to them in real time. In fact, almost every science fiction film or TV show that isn’t set in a post-apocalyptic society has some form of this technology.
But what does that mean for the smart mirror? You might be inclined to think, “A lot,” but the real answer is, “little to nothing.” Smart mirrors of today hardly resemble these science fiction portrayals of computers in anyway other than through the use of biometric readings.
Instead, the most recent past technologies that can be said to be related to the modern smart mirror are the ordinary mirror, the computer, and bluetooth, as these three technologies (as well as others to varying degrees) are what came together to form the smart mirror.
Today’s Magic Mirror
Today, we have technology capable of functioning as an ordinary mirror when it’s off as well as a fitness instructor, mirror, and biometric reader capable of displaying your heart rate, calorie burning count, and more all on a reflective and interactive screen in front of you.
This technology is called Mirror. Not a very clever name, but were you expecting something like the “Mirrortron 9000?” While reality constantly meets and exceeds our scientific expectations for future advancement, it always finds better names for newer technology.
Mirror is an example of that. While deactivated, it functions as a simple full-body mirror. While activated, it uses cameras, imaging software, internet access, reflective screens, and bluetooth technology to allow for the perfect home fitness advisor. Oh! And it even comes with its own app.
Smart Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
While the science fiction and fantasy genres have dealt with holograms, sentient computers, and other extraplanar creatures inhabiting, being programmed into, or magically bound inside of mirrors, there are few, if any, notable examples of technologically advanced smart mirrors themselves.
All of the examples that might possibly fit into this category are compounded by these other variables to the point where the mirror is essentially just a mirror and the fantastical element is derived from some other software or enchantment place over the mirror.
In these cases, as in–yep, you guessed it–Star Trek, we can see that the interesting aspect of the mirror isn’t anything to do with the mirror but the high-tech computer imaging software and biometric scanning that accompanies it. Then again, perhaps the same could be said for the Mirror software mentioned above.
Magic and science are often interconnected in more ways than we might believe. However, all you have to do to notice this phenomenon is watch a magician. Every magic trick they perform is applied science, typically based on smoke and–of course–mirrors.
For another more information and details about potential applications for smart mirror technology in the medical industry, check out this great article published in Smithsonian Magazine.