New York Times Brings News, Ads to Your Bathroom Mirror

Greg Tito

PR for Dungeons & Dragons
Sep 29, 2005
New York Times Brings News, Ads to Your Bathroom Mirror

R&D teams combine Microsoft's Kinect, a screen and a mirror to make science fiction real.

A staple of popular science-fiction is a surface or screen that can detect and understand voice commands and change its display based on your desires. "Hello computer, display the reproduction rates of the modern Asian Tribble over a 15 million year span. Oh, and make me a sandwich." Sounds impossible right? But the Nieman Journalism Lab - owned by the New York Time - has an ingenious prototype of what they call the "Magic Mirror" that uses the tech behind Microsoft's Kinect to recognize your voice and display information based on, say, what products are on your toiletries shelf. The mirror can also be used to browse news while you are brushing your teeth or shaving.


Some of the applications of such a screen are downright convenient. "In an off-the-shelf product like Claritin, here, even though it's not a fancy digital device, it can still participate in information exchanges by virtue of an RFID present in the packaging," said Brian House, The Times Co.'s Creative Technologist.

Putting the box of drugs on the shelf in frotn of the mirror will call up all kinds of useful information. "It'll bring up directions on how to take it - it's a lot easier to read than on the box itself," continued House. "By virtue of it knowing what my schedule is - and maybe I have a trip coming up, and it knows that I'm using this product - that creates another information intersection that we can use to query our database, and bring up an article that might be interesting."

The mirror can even display coupons!


The accompanying videos from House's prototype wouldn't have seemed possible just a few years ago, but given the huge number of Kinect hack videos I've seen over the last year, such a combination of display and interface doesn't seem crazy or far-fetched. Microsoft's Kinect technology has gone from a novelty in gaming to creating breakthroughs in almost every field from robotics to artificial intelligence - and now journalism.

The future's so bright, I have to take a Claritin. You know, allergies. *sneeze*

Source: Nieman Lab []



For the Emperor!
Aug 15, 2008
The future is here!

Next stop, Skynet!
And hover cars, and VR simulators, time travel etc

Anyway, Microsoft should license the Kinect tech to some big science corporations so they can go nuts with it and create more things like this!


New member
Jan 29, 2011
I WANT ONE! saw one of the other videos, was hopeing they would show news stuff, alwase interested in new ways to consume news.

Jack and Calumon

Digimon are cool.
Dec 29, 2008
I wonder how this will react to condensation from when I take a shower? If it survives - assuming I'd obviously have to wait for it to clear up, which having a bathroom fan, shouldn't take long - then I can guarantee that I just wet myself in anticipation.

I need a towel.

Calumon: Blegh, I'm not going near you!


New member
Mar 5, 2011
Future so bright, I gotta wear shades!

This is epic. Maybe Microsoft should make stuff like this than stupid fucking motion controls.

XT inc

Senior Member
Jul 29, 2009
Man that is so cool.

It amazes me every single day the innovation and coolness my dear ole Kinect is capable of...

It does everything! except Anything on the Console WTF!

I aides the blind, makes magic mirrors, helps robots see, makes autonomous helicopters, moves shopping carts, can do home scale mo cap.

Yet I cant even get a puppet in the Gunslinger to jump and fire his gun when I want it to, or anything else with any sembalance of precision.


New member
Aug 5, 2011
I enplugged the Power-usb cord to my kinect last night. It kept stopping my netflix, because it thought it heard the word "stop" from "Star".

Shhh! Kinect can also be a breakthru for advertising. It can scan your face and link your location to Facebook! Shit, it just checked me in at the Strippers Club!

Worse yet, Now SpongeBob follows me around in every Mirror!


Elite Member
Jun 24, 2011
United States
You remember that scene in Demolition Man where they are singing to ads from the 80's? Seemed ridiculous, who would "want" ads? Well....


New member
Aug 9, 2009
Let's just hope the females of the household don't leave their feminine hygiene products on the shelf with handy "how-to-use" instructions left on the screen.