Smart mirrors may reflect the future, but do they still reflect us?

Every appliance today seems to have a ‘smart’ version for sale. Security systems, televisions, refrigerators, lighting, and even heating and cooling can be outfitted with touchscreen and voice-controlled technology. Are you ready for the mirrors in your house to join the party?

It starts with a two-way mirror – a panel of glass that can be seen through from one side but is a mirror on the other – with a touchscreen display embedded between the layers. The surface can be customized to display information you always want to have at your fingertips, or it can be completely transparent until activated with a tap or voice command. And they can come in a variety of sizes and purposes depending on the type of use.

It may be liberating one day to wake up and look at the mirror and receive every bit of information you can expect to encounter on your day: weather forecasts, unanswered emails, appointment reminders, even what the traffic will be on your commute. You may not be ready to do anything but have a cup a coffee and groan at the news, but at least the potential is there waiting for you.

On the business side of things, smart mirror technology could be revolutionary in the world of mirror-based services like beauty care and clothing retail. The opportunity to observe your service and interact with the business for automated customization, sizing, and payment may take the hassle out of locating an associate to assist you.

But ultimate access like this doesn’t come cheap. The additional costs to a single appliance are between $200 to $500. And a stand-alone or installed single purpose mirror outfitted with smart technology starts at approximately $1000, with costs increasing according to installation specs and amount of services you desire to be available.

It might be time to consider if adding technology mirrors makes our life easier or whether we’ve lost focus on what’s really important.