Royal Philips Electronics has introduced the ‘Mirror TV’, a 17-, 23- or 30-inch LCD display integrated into a mirror that reflects close to 100% of the light from its surface.
It is the first product created at the Philips HomeLab, the company’s research incubator for future electronic products and technologies, to reach the commercial market.
Philips decided to commercialise the product after testing a more sophisticated prototype with more than 200 consumers in its HomeLab research facility, a fully functioning two-bedroom home that doubles as a scientific laboratory. Philips HomeLab enables researchers to observe (with 34 hidden cameras and an observation area) how people interact with new devices. Consumers who used the Mirror TV prototype appreciated the ability to watch the news and traffic while also shaving or brushing their teeth.
For home use, Philips is currently testing more advanced versions that could connect the user wirelessly to the mirror, providing everything from news to traffic reports and health data, such as blood pressure or weight. Or, the mirror could display a cartoon that encourages children to brush their teeth longer and more effectively.
Philips has not yet announced pricing guidelines for the Mirror TV because at this early stage, each unit will be custom-built to meet the design specifications of the given space. Deliveries are expected to begin in the fourth quarter this year.
Company officials estimate that a home version may be available before 2005.