The use of mirrors first dates back to 4500 B.C.E. in Egypt, according to archeologists. Made of polished minerals that included selenium, slate and mica, they were mostly used for personal grooming and religious purposes. That early version of the mirror got a big makeover in 1835 when German chemist Justus von Liebig developed a process for applying a thin layer of metallic silver to one side of paned clear glass. This technique led to the mass production of mirrors.
The history of the mirror is proof of its longevity and status as an unsung beauty mainstay. The first checkpoint to gauge your level of attractiveness, allure and overall appearance before you face the world, mirrors carry weight in the lives of individuals who rely on them. Those who peer into mirrors hope they reflect the person they want to present to the world.
So it goes without saying that this important beauty aid was long overdue for another upgrade, one that combined beauty consulting and tech all-in-one. Now, the device that’s revolutionizing beauty care at home is the Hi Mirror.
Hi Mirror, Hi Mirror On the Wall
A 2017 Consumers Electronics Show (CES) Innovation Awards Honoree, Hi Mirror is one of the world’s first smart beauty mirrors that’s also a skincare recommendation device. Weighing only five pounds, the product boasts facial recognition software and a touch-free design. So by simply waving your hand in front of it, the mirror snaps your picture, quizzes you on your beauty habits, and then provides an in-depth, 360-degree, personalized analysis of your skin’s condition.
Hi Mirror’s camera features a shutter than can be manually opened and closed to protect your privacy. And its thorough skin care analysis and breakdown zeroes in on problem areas that include complexion, sun damage, pores and wrinkles. Based on this collective data, Hi Mirror gives you a personalized beauty routine, complete with suggested skin care products to customize flaw treatment.
The basic Hi Mirror retails for $189, and the upgraded model, Hi Mirror Plus, costs $259 and features various makeup light settings. While some might scoff at the hefty price, consider that you’ll never have to second guess your skincare product routine again. Nor, will you have to sit with a department store skin consultant whose motives might be skewed toward selling a particular product.
Hi Mirror’s smart capabilities also make it a gift that keeps on giving because it can be shared with others. The device stores the skin information of individuals along with its recommendations for multiple user profiles. And for those who need a little extra with their routine — like being able to beautify with a beat — the Hi Mirror connects to WiFi, Spotify and Internet radio.
A Revolutionary Mirror Upgrade
Simon Shen, CEO of the Taipei-based New Kinpo Group, was esoterically inspired to create Hi Mirror from watching his wife Amanda navigate through her complicated daily skincare routine. He wanted to make her regular beauty routine simpler.
“One day, I watched Amanda as she went about her skincare routine,” recalls Hi Mirror founder and inventor Shen. “It occurred to me that she usually spends around ten minutes in front of the mirror, choosing from a myriad of expensive skincare and cosmetic products, many of them appear rarely used. I also wondered if she could really remember the functions for each product given the sheer number of bottles.”
This is yet another need that Hi Mirror fulfills. It doesn’t just have the ability to recommend new products to you; the device can also scan skin care products already in your possession to let you know if your current beauty routine is optimal for you. The device has revolutionized the concept of the mirror and upped the daily standards of the at-home beauty regime to a professional level.
“Hi Mirror is a technology-driven tool that will become indispensable for consumers,” adds Shen, “an essential part of their daily beauty routine helping them evaluate their skin and what works for their individual skincare needs.”
As a tech guru whose daily life was consumed by printers and robots, none of which really impressed his better half, Shen says that Hi Mirror was also born out of the need to make his “wife say ‘Wow!’ and (finally) get excited about one of my projects.”
Hi Mirror also represents a husband’s electronic, reflective love letter to his wife — something to help her feel more beautiful everyday; a quest most people, women in particular, can relate to. “There’s one last thing I’d like to say, to Amanda, my wife,” adds Shen about creating the device. “Thank you for being my inspiration.”
Thanks to Simon Shen, our unique and complex love affair with mirrors will progress into the next era of beauty.
Ronke Idowu Reeves is a writer and journalist who hails from Brooklyn, NY. Her news and entertainment stories have appeared on WABC-TV-New York, Fox News Channel, VH1, BET.com plus in Sundance Film Festival’s Sundance Daily Insider and People Magazine.