I am fascinated by mirrors, their properties and also the incredible quantity of literary ideas and stories around the mirror, from Narciso to Snow White, from Carroll's Alice to the Jorge Luis Borges personal mythology... When a couple of years ago I "discovered" the possibility to make magic mirrors
More recently I approached the Magic Mirror
project by Michael Teeuv (MichMich)
who built and also maintain, a very well designed software platform to create a modular set of Magic Mirrors based on the Raspberry PI.Thinking and tinkering ... I decided to build a new Magic Mirror dedicated to Halloween with some scary effects and something more than what we are used to finding in the "traditional" (??!) Magic Mirrors.This the short story of how the Scary Mirror Project born.
The One-way Mirror
A one-way mirror, also called two-way mirror (or two-way glass, half-silvered mirror, and semi-transparent mirror), is a reciprocal mirror that is partially reflective and partially transparent. The perception of one-way transmission is achieved when one side of the mirror is brightly lit and the other side is dark. This allows viewing from the darkened side, but not vice versa. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-way_mirror )
Magic Mirrors use semi-transparent mirror plates, that make possible to see something lying to the back of the reflecting side together with the reflection of the front scene. The "magic" effect is achieved by showing lighten texts, graphics, light effects on a screen, videos etc. The best effect is achieved when the entire backside and screen are black, thus avoiding the visualization of the borders.
The idea is to put a screen on the back side of the one-way mirror showing a black background. A microcontroller, an embedded computer, a desktop or a laptop connected to the screen can show any kind of information, including interactive features with the user through gestures or sensors.
The Electronic Components
The electronic parts used to build the Scary Mirror aims giving something "special" to the making.
- power supply board for the raspberry PI
- A couple of PIR motion detection sensors
Wiring, cables and some other stuff we will see in detail during the building phase. The images below show the components ready to become scary.
The mirror frame has been obtained hacking an IKEA Mirror from which I removed the lighting content to host the new structure obtained by a thick block of cardboard.
The Project Design
The above image shows the scheme of the project design and the distribution of the parts inside the mirror body. This first version of the design has been updated a while but the scheme parts remained almost the same.
In the next episode, we will see in detail the assembly of the electronics inside the frame and starting wiring the component, with an extra bonus: an update I have done to the design while starting to build the project.