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DIY Smart Mirror: Build a magic mirror in 10 minutes

We will provide you with step-by-step instructions, video and details to build your smart magic mirror in under 10 minutes flat.

While there are many smart magic mirrors built using Raspberry Pi. We recommend using and Android tablet instead. There are many reasons for this, you can read the details in our our Raspberry Pi vs Android Tablet for your smart mirror post.

So this tutorial will be based on using an Android tablet (Amazon Fire tablet).


Here’s what you’ll need to build your Alexa enabled smart mirror.

Materials:

Two-way glass mirror (use a size of your preference, making sure it is larger than the tablet)

Black Vinyl Wrap air release adhesive film roll (ideally 12” width by 60” length)

Picture frame (same size as the mirror, must be able to fit the mirror within this frame)

Amazon Fire 7 Tablet or any other Andorid Tablet (black is ideal)

Apps:

Mango Display App Mango display app (already installed on the Amazon fire tablet, can be downloaded from Google play store as well)

Mango Mirror app on your phone or computer (allows you to control the mango display app)


Watch the video for steps on creating your Alexa smart mirror. Detailed written steps and instructions are below.

Detailed steps on building a smart mirror with Alexa are listed below


Step 1: Place Mirror With the Back Facing Up

Place the mirror so that the back side is facing upwards. The back side is basically the least reflective side of the two. This is the side that will let the light go through, making it possible to see the display on the tablet.

Step 2: Measure and Cut the Vinyl Backing

Roll out the vinyl and measure it to the size of the mirror and cut accordingly. Using the black vinyl will stop the light, allowing you to see your reflection.

Step 3: Mark Out the Area Where the Tablet Will Go

Put the tablet, with the screen facing down, on top of the vinyl. The preferable height from the top and the width from the side are 4” and 2” respectively.

Step 4: Cut Out a Window in the Vinyl for the Tablet

Once positioned properly, draw the outline of the tablet onto the vinyl. Draw another outline that is offset about ¼” inside the original outline. Cut the vinyl with reference to the inner outline. This is to prevent any gaps between where the tablet starts and the vinyl ends. Any gaps will allow light to pass through. Another important thing is to make sure the camera is covered. After it is cut, make sure the cut surface aligns with the screen border and is straight.

Step 5: Stick the Vinyl Onto the Mirror

Paste the vinyl onto the mirror. Make sure it lines up with the corners it was measured against. Try to smoothen it as best you can, but no need to worry about any creases or bubbles, as they will not be visible from the front. Cover the remaining part of the glass with vinyl. Cut off the excess with a knife.

Step 6: Attach the Tablet to the Glass

Cut 2 strips from the remaining vinyl. Place the tablet onto the vinyl pasted glass, making sure the charging port is facing downwards (the bottom of the mirror). Use the vinyl strips to stick it in place. Be careful not to cover the speakers.

Important Notes before attaching your tablet:

1. Download the the Mango display App on your tablet from the Amazon App store.

2. Make sure you have hands free Alexa enabled. This is how you will be interacting with the tablet after this.

3. Make sure your tablet can be removed if needed – software updates, etc. This vinyl strips allows for removing the tablet when required.

Tip: During your normal use of Alexa, the Mango Display App may be covered over by Alexa generated screens- example Album art, when you are playing songs. So when you want to see your Mango display again, simply say ‘Alexa, Open Mango Display App’. If you want to close the app, say ‘Alexa, Close Mango Display App‘.

Step 7: Attach the Power Cable to the Tablet

Insert the power cable into the tablet and use another piece of vinyl to stick it in place.This is important as it will prevent the tablet from being moved in case the power chord is tugged on or pulled lightly.

Step 8: Place the Mirror in the Frame

Place the mirror, faced down, inside the frame and secure it in its position. Make sure the clips are enclosed to prevent the glass from falling out.

Step 9: Prepare the Hanging Wire & Hang Up Your Smart Mirror

Cut out a hanging wire to a measure length and loop it around the hooks of the frame. Twist the edges to make it secure. 

Make sure you have a wall hook or screw that is secure enough for the weight of the mirror.

Hang the mirror on a wall and that’s it! 

You now have a smart mirror with Alexa. Simple and easy!


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