Hardware

Raspberry Pi: 10 fun and fantastic mods

Magic mirror

This 'magic' mirror won't tell you who's the fairest, but it could pay you a compliment and let you know whether a brolly is a must before venturing out.

Thanks to its digital makeover the mirror can show news reports, provide weather updates or just display the time and date.

Plumbing an object thousands of years old into the internet required Michael Teeuw to carry out some nifty hardware and software hacking.

The mirror itself is semi-transparent, an observation mirror that allows people to look through when it is lit from behind.

Information is shown on a display panel from a 24-inch monitor that has had its plastic casing removed and is placed behind the mirror.

Teeuw then built a new pine wood casing for the mirror and the display panel and wired together the panel, a Raspberry Pi, USB adapter and wi-fi adapter.

After installing wi-fi connectivity, Teeuw customised the Raspbian OS's display to portrait orientation, and to boot directly into the mirror's interface.

The interface for the mirror was built using JavaScript, HTML and CSS and served by a local Apache web server to the Chromium browser, which Teeuw configured to run in full screen mode when the Pi booted.

Data for the weather, news and calendar interface on the mirror was pulled from various APIs of online services: Openweathermap.org, the NOS News Feed and Apple's iCloud.

The materials used in the project can be found here and the code used to build the interface is available on GitHub if you fancy adding new features.

Image: Michael Teuuw

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.