First there was the selfie. Then hedonists got smart and began taking selfies reflected off mirrors.
Now comes a device that combines the best features of both these pastimes. The result is a "mirror" that takes selfies.
It's not your ordinary mirror, however, given that it's packing a lot of not so ordinary technology. And it also means your arm length no longer limits how many people you can pack into a group selfie.
Welcome S.E.L.F.I.E. or the "Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine." Others call it the SELFIE mirror.
S.E.L.F.I.E is a camera disguised as a wall cabinet. A two-way mirror is the cabinet's door. Opening the door will reveal with a Mac mini, a webcam and LED lighting embedded in the mirror.
To trigger the camera, a person needs to stand in front of the S.E.L.F.I.E mirror, preferably on a specially-placed vinyl marker on the floor for guidance. Smiling triggers the webcam connected to a Mac mini powering the facial recognition software.
The Mac mini uses the OpenCV facial recognition library to detect a smile. Once the software detects a person's smile, a serial command is sent to the Arduino software to begin the countdown sequence.
The detection of a smile commands two vertical rows of LEDs hidden behind the mirror to illuminate in sequence. The lights begin the countdown and also serve as a camera flash. The selfie is taken and automatically posted to Twitter.
iStrategyLabs Director of Ops Zach Saale said it takes about one and a half seconds for a smile to be recognized, "as we found any less than that would create false-positives."
"The SELFIE mirror helps to demonstrate what's possible by bringing together hardware, software and a great idea," said CMO of iStrategyLabs DJ Saul.
But what if you don't smile?