Albert, Your AI Butler, Lives Inside Your “Magic” Mirror
We may not have flying cars in 2017, but we do have a variety of household objects that can do much more than they were originally intended to. Cell phones and other smart devices now allow us to automatically regulate everything in our homes, from lights and curtains down to the temperature. New refrigerators have tablets built into their doors, and toilets can connect to WiFi. Some of this technology may sound absurd, but a lot of it has become indispensable to modern life. This “magic mirror” containing an AI butler ready to serve you as you please could be the next essential gadget.
Picture this: It’s morning. You’re looking at yourself in the mirror, combing your hair or applying makeup. You’re late for a meeting, and you have to take the bus to a place you’re not familiar with. You could ask Siri for help, but you’d still have to juggle your phone in one hand and a tube of mascara in the other. Instead, you decide to ask the AI butler built right into your bedroom mirror.
“Duo” is a device that operates “from beyond your own reflection,” with a 27-inch reflective surface that functions as one big touch screen. Reach into your own image to take control of the screen, or simply call on “Albert,” your AI companion, to control the system through voice commands. Duo lets you listen to music, look at photos, play videos, check the news, and post to social media. It also functions as a smart home hub.
The Duo’s internal hardware is all contained within a sleek, 1.9-millimeter exterior, with the entire mirror weighing just eight pounds. The mirror can be hung in either landscape or portrait mode, and boasts a minimalist appearance that fits seamlessly into a number of design styles. Running off of Duo’s unique HomeOS, “Albert,” is an extremely customizable companion whose name, gender, accent, and sense of humor can be changed at any time. Thankfully, HomeOS also has its own app store, and allows users to download new applications and delete old ones based on their individual needs. While its smart features are activated, Duo looks like something out of a science-fiction movie. When it’s powered off, it blends right into your home.
There will be some who express concern over the Duo’s ability to potentially watch and listen in on people in the privacy of their own houses. This of course sounds creepy, but could only happen if the technology was abused by the mirror’s creators or a third party. Plus, it’s hard to deny the draw of being able to say “Mirror, mirror on the wall, what’s the weather going to be like tonight, and how long will it take me to get to the new taco place on Main?”
Currently priced at $399, the Duo aims to directly compete with the companies leading the field in smart technology, such as Google and Amazon. The mirror is already available for pre-order and is expected to start shipping in October 2017. After that, the retail price will increase to $500. Check out Duo’s full range of features on the company’s website.