The Mira prototype consists of a display, enhanced by a two way mirror and attached to a hidden laptop. The display is surrounded by a wooden frame, to evoke the look and feel of a real household mirror, and situated on a foamcore “wall,”
to obscure its inner workings.
Spoken keywords and gestures trigger the mirror’s interactions – we used Snowboy Hotword detection to establish audio keywords and a Leap Motion controller to sense gesture.
Ideal system proposal
Our prototype could only incorporate a portion of the capabilities our research lead us to include in our ideal design. The technology exists to make Mira a reality in three years time. A device like Mira could revolutionize health and skin
care, predicting potential health risks early on, and helping users optimize their skincare routine.
- Mira would be constructed from more aesthetically pleasing materials, to enhance the sensory and emotional aspect of self-monitoring.
- Mira would employ big data cloud computing, drawing on data from all users to make the best recommendations for individual users.
- Mira would employ seamless interaction including touch, and facial and movement recognition in addition to sound and gesture
- Mira would maintain users’ privacy, using advanced authentication methods such as an iris scanner.
Where do we go from here? To continue development, we would explore interaction scenarios that seamlessly integrate Mira into users’ daily lives, accounting for their varied scheduling constraints and developing refined implementations of
Mira’s basic functions. The product and context provide fertile grounds for future exploration.
Mira, in its current prototype form, offers limited functionality. Given more time, we would explore how the voice and gesture sensory mechanisms interact and provide solutions to account for users’ privacy and the security. We noticed the
co-dependence of these interactions time and again while creating the prototype. Our prototype’s size also impacts its user interface and the placement of its features – an unnatural constraint. We built Mira with the materials available
to us rather than selecting the best possible materials for our users and interaction context.
Most significantly, Mira’s impact is closely tied to human emotional and visceral responses – the design’s impact on human responses to “aging gracefully” and to culturally dependent contexts is powerful. Informed by aggregated collected
data, Mira could detect mood and emotional changes, protecting individuals from the negative outcomes of anxiety and depression. The degree and purpose of the personalization Mira can provide from the data it collects is Mira’s true power.
And with great power, comes great responsibility. It’s critical for Mira to be discreet in addition to connected.
Beauty belongs to everyone, and we all desire health and longevity. Mira is a tool that can teach us to become this way, helping us understand what it means to be healthy and beautiful for each of us – personally.