The Smart Mirror developed at MIT uses a camera to read the heart rate of anyone standing in front of it.

Imagine if the next time you checked yourself out in the mirror, your reflection showed you something that went further than skin-deep. Your daily primping and preening could take on an entirely new level of import in our lives, serving as a first line in our bid to catch potential health flags before they become serious.This may soon become reality in a not-so-distant future.

As part of the Quantified Living trend from our Future of Home Living report, we highlight a mirror prototype developed by Ming-Zher Poh, an electrical engineer in the Affective Computing Group at the MIT Media Lab, that is able to monitor vital signs and show the inner health of the person standing in front of it. a When your heart beats, it sends a pulse of blood through your blood vessels and to your face. Because blood absorbs light, the mirror is able to use a simple webcam, the same as the one found in your laptop, to record the fluctuation in reflected light coming off your skin. Although the change in brightness is minute, the data can then be translated into a heart-rate reading via algorithm, and the results are instantly displayed right before a person’s eyes, empowering individuals to take the management of their wellness into their own hands.

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