From smart car windshields to hotel mirrors that alert you to the weather and the latest news, smart mirror options are growing exponentially as the Internet of Things industry continues to scale. Sam Bertolet became fascinated with two-way LCD smart mirrors, but as he started custom-building the hardware, he realized that there was no existing operating system to power native apps and other amenities.
In the summer of 2015, Bertolet founded Mississippi-based Myra Mirrors with his co-founder Pontus Andersson to build their own line of smart mirrors along with customizable smart glass surface software, ReflektOS.
“What we’re doing with our software is providing developers with a clean, transparent canvas, if you will, when they’re creating the application,” says Bertolet. “We want them to create solid augmented reality applications. We will license this to developers to get into our facet store and it will be free of charge.”
While the IoT market is becoming more and more mainstream, 87 percent of people actually have no idea of what IoT means or what it stands for. To overcome this barrier to entry, Myra Mirrors decided to release something that would stand alone and require minimal setup — a simple vanity mirror.
“The biggest thing that people wanted was something they could take out of a box, put it on their bathroom counter, their kitchen table, wherever it is, and plug it in,” says Bertolet. “You don’t have to rebuild a bathroom We realized we want to make something that we consider beautiful.”
Their first products are all-in-one reflective mirrors with a 10-inch makeup mirror and a 27-inch wall mirror options. They come equipped with an operating system kit, augmented reality capabilities, and an in-device app store. While customers can add cameras if they prefer to do so, the hardware doesn’t come with one embedded to protect the customers’ privacy.
“We want to make augmented reality our long-term goal,” says Bertolet. “Augmented reality in the home at a comfortable, luxurious level — without glasses on and gloves on your hands.”
“The size in this case is something that’s very important. We want to start out with a smaller device that has a good set of features that are targeted at a very specific market.”
Myra Mirrors is honing in on both the direct to consumer market as well as B2B opportunities in the retail, hotel, home renovation, and healthcare industries as the smart mirror options have potential to go far beyond virtual assistant capabilities, thanks to their open-source developer tools.
“Our RGBW light bar helps you control the lighting on your face, if you want to simulate different environments with makeup,” says Bertolet. “It functions as a premium Bluetooth stereo speaker as well.”
The Myra Mirrors team is in the process of raising a funding round after forming strategic partnerships at Consumer Electronics Show expo earlier this year. The funds will help the Mississippi-born startup kickstart production and scale its product after perfecting the prototypes.
Bertolet shares that while the pool of angel investors is small in Mississippi, they’re active in the IoT space and helped them raised their first successful pre-seed round. Thanks to local organizations like Innovate Mississippi, the team is successfully attracting investors for its current rolling funding round.
Currently undergoing their internal beta, the Myra Mirrors team will also be launching an Indiegogo campaign later this year to acquire new customers.