The mirror, in its yesteryear form, was an unbiased and unfiltered device, like our front-facing iPhone cameras we opened accidentally. It revealed yourself without judgment and falsities or smoothing effects. But unlike a simple reflective mirror, the gadgets of now can evaluate your appearance on a scientific level.
The wave of technically elevated tools that gather personal data in order to help us is a trend encompassing the beauty industry. The new voice-activated “smart mirrors” can adjust the lighting to suit your needs and come with tiny cameras that help analyze your skin to the smallest, seemingly minute detail. And why? To determine if your skincare routine is working by using state-of-the-art technology, and thus leading you to decide if you need a beauty change.
One of the first of its kind, HiMirror uses an exclusive technology called a Skin Analysis Engine to capture skin tone and analyze minuscule flaws on the surface of the skin. After analyzing your skin, it creates a personalized routine with products suited for you. The mirror — powered with specific voice commands and hand gestures, making it truly smart — presents all of the information about your skins texture, brightness, dark circles, dark spots, red spots, pores and fine wrinkles to help users understand the techniques they need to incorporate to improve these issues. But what makes this device even more innovative than its counterparts is its ability to capture exact skin tones.
When first hearing about it, it seems pretty cool. I mean, it is a beauty device that allows us to perfect our personal routines and divulge which products aren’t working in our favor. But with ultra-magnifying mirrors already pointing out tiny details that most don’t see in the daylight — from slight hair on the face (which is totally natural and common) to an eyebrow not perfectly arched to a birth-given indention on the chin — do we really need something that will dive even deeper than that every single morning?
These futuristic devices, down to the way they are designed, are meant to abolish the very flaws that make an individual an individual. And maybe it is this generation’s love for self-care and selfies, but beauty enthusiasts and dermatologists alike are already indulging in this phenomenon. A product that helps to analyze every single feature down to the deepest pore gives us full permission to perform lavish routines. It makes sense for the times; we are existing in a time that promotes paying attention to microscopic details; from counting your daily steps, to macro-nutrient meal apps, to what kind of silk to sleep on for better hair and diets tailored to your body type. The new technology fits into our current state of constant self-observation.
One of the biggest worries about upcoming beauty tech-gear is that it plays into the current “grass is always greener” mindset that we already deal with on a day to day basis thanks to social media. Imagine an app that allows you to compare your skin’s natural makeup to your friend’s, or your “flaws” in comparison to an influencer who posted hers on Twitter.
There are, of course, pros to match the cons. If you have a suspicious mole appear on your cheek — or have 40 percent more fine lines than others your age — beauty devices, like the Séura SMART Mirror, can help prevent future issues. It can help to determine if you have had too much sun exposure, or are at greater risk of cancer, sure. But it can also encourage spending even more time thinking about your own appearance, flaws and routines. Similar to the ethereal creature begging for compliments in a speaking mirror, we can end up asking advice from a beauty device that will back up why you are not the fairest of them all, but with science and actual data.
Like most invasive devices or platforms, these products claim to value privacy, which brings us to the next issue. Will anything be private anymore? In a world where everything is already documented, stored and spread online, do we really need a device that can capture this information and store it within? These ultra-analyzing features can be useful for some — and fun for many — but they allow the door to remain wide open for companies to peak into our private lives. In this data-driven society, we are always at risk that a post, an ad or a talking mirror can be hacked, breached and wrongly promoted. Would hackers be able to watch you picking at your face in the privacy of your own bathroom? Would the data collected be used for research? As a society, we can never truly know for sure.
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When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see? If I am being brutally honest, I have been struggling to practice self compassion lately. I know it will take time to get back into any sort of “good shape” and I also very much appreciate the miracle my body just made. But when your clothes don’t fit, the scale reads high & you feel winded walking a mile, it’s very easy to feel defeated and self loathing. I made a promise to myself that I would wake up an hour early and do workouts with @getthemirror until I looked into the mirror and liked what I saw. Today was that day. I haven’t lost a single pound (not one), but I’ve learned that it really doesn’t matter what the scale reads anymore. I’m feeling stronger every day. 💪🏼 #mirrorpartner #getthemirror
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And what if that privacy is not just relegated to your bathroom smart mirror? Now, smart mirrors are taking ahold of the fitness world, too. Since nesting is currently the new going out, this smart mirror trend cropping up allows you to indulge in home workouts. Mirror is an interactive home gym: It looks like any other modern full-length, outfit-taking mirror you have in your bedroom, but it has a built-in screen that displays a trainer right in front of you. Using the corresponding app that comes with it, you are be able to access thousands of classes or take a weekly class in real time with other users. It may sounds like a dream, but it is here and fitness influencers like Erin Foster and Hannah Bronfman are already promoting it.
This sounds entertaining, easy and takes away the annoyance of having to leave work, walk in the cold to your local gym, and be subjected to the stares or grunts of strangers. But it also takes the human experience out of a gym session and the community sensation out of a workout class. And in a time where everything is more connected than ever before, many people are sensing the personal disconnect occurring on a global scale. We may sit with our friends at dinner, but how many of us are on our phones? We may communicate with family daily, but is it through meme-sharing and tagging? We may already have mirrors, but can they tell us which foundation to use? We are moving away from the human experience and getting closer to a more selfish ‘me’ experience. I suppose, only time will tell if smart mirrors are ruining our lives. For now, I am sticking to my old-school bathroom mirror and natural light.
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