A Smart Mirror for Workouts, how about health coaching?
A new connected health device is making the rounds, and this time it's not a wearable or some voice-assistant that'll sit on your table. Rather, you'll be hanging it on your wall.
Mirror is a new start-up company hoping to enter the crowded workout/exercise market, with their 'smart mirror' device. Naming aside, the product looks very interesting, and while there is no video of it in action, I feel the images and concept designs so far reflect a good idea of how users will interact with it.
In essence, you have a full-length mirror (or 40" 1080p display with a 5mp front facing camera to be technical) that would hang on your wall, and when you are ready to exercise, you would turn it on and engage in features with your iOS device. Then you have options from Yoga to cardio to boxing and more. Now, I would recommend watching the video on their demo to understand what this would look like. So far, it seems that users would be able to participate with others (no idea if you can talk to them - but Mirror states it has a friend engagement platform), and if you have a wearable device you can sync with the Mirror to track calories and heart rate (their own proprietary device or an Apple Watch [because this is an iOS-focused platform so no Fitbit]). Now, one thing that really stood out to me on the video at 1:45 mark was an overlay that said that "This exercise has to be customized to protect your injury" which leads me to believe you will have significant input on what you will be recommended to do during your sessions. The other item that caught my attention was a gamification feature that showed a scoring bar on the Mirror for the user to compete against themselves.
Aside from the multiple classes a user can sign up for a week the option to have a 1:1 personal trainer was interesting for me. Not only was the idea of a virtual trainer in your home probably a good marketing piece that I am sure users would love, but it also opens up some other possibilities that I wouldn't be surprised to see expanded in the future. What if not just exercise, but the Mirror offered 1:1 personal health coaching or conversations? Could this include virtual doctor appointments (after all with wearable devices incorporated and the multiple devices coming to market this could be interesting) but also perhaps counseling sessions as well? After all, the front-facing camera and speakers built in could build more personal sessions instead of just chatting through an iPhone screen or from a virtual assistant device (e.g. Amazon Alexa or Google Home)
And that's it - in an era where many companies are looking to use AI or chatbots and mobile apps to solve a lot of issues, we have Mirror who are looking to give some human touch through a connected device in the patients home. I think they have the right idea (assuming people are willing to pay $1,495 + subscription for multiple users) and I can see this device being expanded to other in-home services as well. I'll have to keep an eye on Mirror and see if they may add additional health services in the near future, because if they can get a high in-home presence then it's probably worth expanding any other health-focused service.