Q&A: Student Builds Smart Mirror

Nico+Case%2C+freshman%2C+takes+a+picture+of+his+schedule+on+his+smart+mirror.+Case+constructed+the+mirror+over+three+weeks+in+the+summer+on+his+own.
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Q&A: Student Builds Smart Mirror

Nico Case, freshman, takes a picture of his schedule on his smart mirror. Case constructed the mirror over three weeks in the summer on his own.

Nico Case, freshman, takes a picture of his schedule on his smart mirror. Case constructed the mirror over three weeks in the summer on his own.

Media by Nico Case

Nico Case, freshman, takes a picture of his schedule on his smart mirror. Case constructed the mirror over three weeks in the summer on his own.

Media by Nico Case

Media by Nico Case

Nico Case, freshman, takes a picture of his schedule on his smart mirror. Case constructed the mirror over three weeks in the summer on his own.

Nico Case, freshman, recently built a “smart mirror,” a mirror that performs many functions similar to a smartphone. Even though Case had a lack of experience going into the project, he still found a way to make it work.

Q: What does the mirror do?
A: “It displays my schedule, the time, the weather and current news headlines.”

Q: What motivated you to build it?
A: First, I watched a video about it on YouTube showing a guy who built it. At first it seemed very difficult, but then I did some research and found out it wouldn’t be impossible. It really wasn’t difficult to find materials because I found videos and forums from others who had done it. Using their experiences and knowledge really helped me in the long run.

Q: Did you work with anyone while building the mirror?
A: I completed the project by myself, and bought the materials using money I raised while doing yard work for my neighbors over the summer.

Q: How much did it cost to build?
A: The total cost was $148. Keep in mind I used an old monitor I already owned, and it could’ve cost more had I gotten a new one.

Q: How did you build it?
A: I coded the mirror on a program called Raspberry Pi, which is like a computer but the size of a credit card. The programming is then connected to a monitor which is behind the mirror.

Q: How long did all of this take?
A: The research process was three weeks, the coding process took three days and the construction took one weekend.

Q: What was the biggest challenge in building the mirror?
A: I have zero experience in coding, and that was definitely the most difficult thing in the whole project. If I missed one character or misspelled something, I would have to restart completely which was quite frustrating.

Q: Did you learn any lessons from the whole process?
A: At first, I thought the mirror would be impossible, but this definitely shows if you put the time in you can do anything.

Q: How do you use the mirror?
A: I use the mirror daily in my room, and it’s linked it to Alexa. I can say in the morning ‘add this to my calendar’ like a homework assignment, and then that will show up on my mirror.

Q: What are your future career plans?
A: I’m quite interested in technology and hope to go into computer engineering.

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