4 Reasons Why You Should Build a Smart Mirror Instead of Buying One
Recently I have seen a few projects pop up on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, where you can buy a ready-to-use smart mirror to use in your home. These cost from $199 and up to at least $499!
While this might look like a good deal, there are several reasons why you should build your own smart mirror from scratch instead of buying one. Here are fivc I thought of that should convince you to try and build one.
4. It’s Way Cheaper
Really, you can save hundreds of dollars by building your own smart mirror instead of pledging a kickstarter or buying one online. A really nice looking smart mirror can be built for cheap by buying parts online, not to mention that a lot of people have some of the parts that are needed lying around at home. Take that old Android tablet or LCD monitor and put it to good use.
A budget for a smart mirror could look like this:
- Monitor – $89.99 (You can even find a cheaper/used monitor)
- Raspberry Pi Zero – $20
- Two Way Mirror – $34
- Frame material: ~15-20
- Total cost: ~$164-180
With this you can get a fully functioning smart mirror that looks great. You can even go cheaper by buying less expensive parts or if you already have some of them lying around.
Beats buying a tiny one for $499.
3. It’s More Fun Than Just Buying One to Throw on the Wall
Since you’re in the market for a smart mirror, I’m pretty sure you like technology and gadgets. And building your own smart mirror is almost certainly up your alley. It involves technology in hardware and software form. You have to source the hardware, set it up neatly, install the software, tweak it and get it up and running. Can’t get more fun than that! You’ll be proud of your accomplishment and it will impress your house guests. If you have kids it’s a perfect project to spend time on with them, teaching them about technology.
And if you’re not sure that you’ll be able to build one yourself, don’t worry, there are tons of detailed tutorials online.
2. You Can Build a Really Big One
The mirrors you can buy online are most often tiny, compared to the mirrors you can build yourself. You can buy pretty large two-way acrylic mirror for cheap, even one that goes from the ceiling down to the floor, if you want to get crazy.
1. Funding a Project Does Not Guarantee You’ll Get a Product
While most crowdfunding projects are funded and delivered, many of them fail to reach backers. Building a consumer electronic product is no walk in the park. There are so many factors that can make it difficult for the makers to deliver a product to market, so pledging $299 doesn’t even guarantee you’ll get that shiny smartmirror on the wall. Buying parts online and building it most likely will!
Do you agree? Is it better to build a smart mirror than buying one? Let me know in the comments section below.