a clever mir­ror

Look­ing glasses have gone hi-tech – find out more

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‘The lat­est gad­gets such as lights, demis­ters, mu­sic and sock­ets are Tak­ing mod­ern o smart mir­rors way be­yond hum­ble bathroom ac­ces­sories’ Dan Cook, CP Hart

No bathroom is com­plete with­out a mir­ror, but today’s smart de­signs of­fer so much more than a de­cent re­flec­tion. Fea­tur­ing built-in lux­u­ries de­signed to make our lives a lit­tle eas­ier and more in­ter­est­ing, smart mir­rors are gen­uinely use­ful kit, and not just for gad­get geeks.

Q What are the op­tions? Pop­u­lar tech in­cludes built-in LED light­ing, dig­i­tal clocks, shaver/tooth­brush sock­ets, Blue­tooth speak­ers and heated pads that keep the glass clear.

Q What if I re­ally want to show off? In­vest in a mir­ror that turns into a large TV for watch­ing movies in the tub. In some de­signs the TV part cov­ers only a small area of the mir­ror, so you can catch up with the news while brush­ing your teeth. ‘The best thing about this tech is that it needn’t in­trude. You can only tell that there’s a tele­vi­sion when it’s on,’ says Chris Payne, se­nior de­signer at Rip­ples.

Q Can I fit it my­self? The ma­jor­ity of smart mir­rors re­quire power, and must be in­stalled by a qual­i­fied electrician. If your mir­ror fea­tures a tele­vi­sion or DAB ra­dio, an ex­ter­nal aerial con­nec­tion or out­put lead may also be nec­es­sary. Any ca­bling can be neatly con­cealed be­hind tiling. Some of the sim­pler il­lu­mi­nated mir­rors are bat­tery pow­ered – LEDS are en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient so the bat­ter­ies will last a while.

Q Are smart mir­rors safe? Whether mains- or bat­tery-pow­ered, smart mir­rors must be IP44 rated for safe use in the bathroom, and can be fit­ted within 60cm of a basin or sim­i­lar wa­ter source. Be­ware of im­ports that don’t al­ways com­ply. As long as it’s fit­ted in ac­cor­dance with BS 7671 – the stan­dards fol­lowed by qual­i­fied elec­tri­cians – your mir­ror will be per­fectly safe.

Q How can I get the most from my smart mir­ror? The lat­est tech is fo­cused on in­tu­itive use and el­e­gant in­te­gra­tion. Look for sleek touch con­trols, SD card and USB ports, dimmable light­ing and built-in shelv­ing for de­vices like phones and ipods. ‘Some in­clude ad­justable bright­ness or colour-chang­ing tech­nol­ogy, al­low­ing you to go from warm white to day­light, de­pend­ing upon your mood,’ adds Chris from Rip­ples.

mad­die’s smart mir­ror is stylish and prac­ti­cal

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