Digital mirrors are the new hot shit among geeks. DGMK and IronShark have now teamed up to offer the DIRROR, one such smart mirror. We have tested a beta version over the past week. These are our conclusions.
Check the weather forecast and your emails in the morning while you brush your teeth, find the fastest way to work, and check out some headlines for small talk in the office – this is probably more or less how Google employee Max Braun imagined the smart mirror would function when he started developing one in January, 2016. Similar gadgets have since been coming out – each cooler than the last.
DIRROR has chosen a slightly different approach: rather than turn a mirror into a smart mirror, they have turned an oversized Windows 10 tablet into a (smart) mirror. The powerful, 27-inch display version is priced at 1.390 euros, the smaller 23-inch model costs 1.190 euros and the 10.1 inch model is about 600 euros.
Good technology, wide range of uses
The price explains itself – at least partly – through the installed technology: Windows 10, 128 GB of memory, 4 GB of RAM, Intel Atom X7-Z8700 with 2.4 Ghz frequency pulsing and four cores, wi-fi and Bluetooth 4.0 make the DIRROR a fairly fast and smooth-running design piece.
The areas where the DIRROR can be used are diverse – in the kitchen as a central whiteboard for the family, in the office for the latest news or in the living room as a control center for your smart home or entertainment. These are some of the uses that DIRROR mention.
Mirror only works so-so, spontaneous use not an option
Only in the bathroom does the DIRROR not make so much sense – the mirror is only so-so. This is mainly due to the mirror display, which is darker than a normal mirror and – logically – smears up when you touch it. Besides, I don’t know if I would want a 1,390 euro mirror loaded with chips hanging in the bathroom, where moisture is sure to find it.
The DIRROR switches on and off via a toggle switch. It is not designed for continuous operation, as stated explicitly in the operations manual. The startup process then takes a few minutes, however, until DIRROR and Windows 10 are warmed up. As a result, it is basically impossible to use the DIRROR spontaneously.
Smart Mirror: Too little variety in design
Of course, the great advantage of the DIRROR is Windows 10. If you want to load the device with many different apps without too much hassle, the DIRROR will make you happy. Whether Twitter, Facebook, email, browser, weather, games- the App Store offers many popular options. However, would you really stand in front of a wall to check their Twitter feed on a mirror? It’s doubtful.
In terms of design, I would also wish for more variety. Currently, DIRROR comes in light, medium and dark brown, each with a very chunky frame. This has the advantage, on the one hand, of hiding the technology well. On the other hand, the device will not necessarily fit in with your furniture. For example, in my apartment, which was designed in a minimalist style, I did not find a lot of places where I wanted to hang it up.
Bluetooth offers more possibilities
It is exciting when you really get the DIRROR actively integrated into your everyday life. To do this, you should connect it up to your keyboards and speakers using Bluetooth 4.0. But here, also: when does one really need it? For me, only two really suitable applications come to mind: as a modern jukebox and eye-catcher at parties, or for artists and museums to allow people to interact with their art in a different way.
The applications offered by DIRROR are nice, but not worth 600, 1,200 or 1,400 euros to me, personally. I am curious about how the DIRROR will fare commercially. My conclusion: it will at first only be a collector’s item for nerds with the necessary pocket change. But, the market is open – let’s see what happens.