Here is another design using Heads-Up Display technology (more on that here), a personal assistant based on the mirror from Snow White. This was inspired by a recent episode of Black Mirror that featured an interactive toy with an emotive face. Why isn’t there a personal assistant with an animated face?
For this design I wanted it to function as a regular mirror, and be able to switch to “magic mirror” mode easily and without affecting any electronics. Just spin the knob on top of the mirror 180 degrees and the face of the magic mirror will appear.
I punched out a smaller mirror section that revolves away to reveal the animated face. It’s a capsule-shaped glass with a flat mirror section (and a hole at the bottom for a projection to shine through). There is a helpful diagram here. All of the electronics, like the screen, computer, speaker, and power, are on the bottom of the housing.
The reason for the capsule-shaped glass is to add curvature to the face of the character. Adds a bit more dimension instead of just being flat.
In addition to regular voice functions like Alexa or Siri, the magic mirror would feature an animated face that lip-syncs to speech. It would respond to “Mirror Mirror” queries and emote accordingly. It could also show info like the date and weather when asked. When enabled, the device can issue alerts (emails, text messages, app notifications) and hopefully just be an all-round useful assistant.
Another way to go is to add your own smartphone. Some car HUD systems do this too. Just activate the mirror mirror app, and slide the phone underneath this device for the animated projections and personal assistant modes. No electronics would be needed for the bring-your-own-phone approach.
When the mirror is covering the front, this would just be a voice assistant. This is a compact design, only about seven inches tall, ideal for putting on a desk or table. Would be very difficult to make a huge one for mounting on the wall or for use as a standing mirror.