Home Computers & peripherals Review - Embrace Smart Mirror

Featured IT News

Labor pledges economic inquiry into encryption law impact

27 March 2019 in Government Tech Policy

The Australian Labor Party has pledged to hold an inquiry that looks into the economic impacts of the Federal Government's…

European Parliament passes new copyright rules

27 March 2019 in Technology Regulation

New copyright rules have been passed by the European Parliament in Brussels overnight, making Internet publishers liable for content that…

Christchurch fallout: Govt says bigger fines for privacy breaches

26 March 2019 in Technology Regulation

The Federal Government will fine social media and online platforms operating in the country $10 million for serious breaches of…

Scammers fleece unsuspecting gift card users of $5 million: report

26 March 2019 in Home Tech

More than $5 million was lost to scams in 2018 involving gift cards — a 38% increase compared to 2017…

Apple launches news and video services along with credit card

26 March 2019 in Strategy

Apple has launched a news subscription service, a TV service and a credit card with no fees at an event…

Kaspersky claims nation-state supply chain attack targeted ASUS

26 March 2019 in Security

Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab claims to have uncovered a sophisticated supply chain attack which used the live update utility…

Brennan IT secures run of new managed services wins

25 March 2019 in Deals

Managed services provider Brennan IT has announced it has secured a raft of new clients, including McDonald’s Australia, Inghams Enterprises,…

CA wants stronger, enforceable protections for telecoms consumers

25 March 2019 in Telecoms & NBN

The telecommunications industry lobby group, Communications Alliance, has told the Australian Communications and Media Authority it wants stronger, enforceable protections…

ACMA warns telcos on failure to provide info to disability consumers

25 March 2019 in Telecoms & NBN

Australia’s three biggest telcos — Telstra, Optus and Vodafone — have been given formal warnings by the telecoms regulator for…

Facebook shields neo-Nazi groups despite complaints

25 March 2019 in Technology Regulation

Facebook is not removing neo-Nazi groups from the site because they do not violate its "community standards", an investigation by…

Europe set to ignore US calls for Huawei ban

24 March 2019 in Government Tech Policy

The European Commission is set to urge countries within the European Union to ignore calls from the United States to…

ASD says probe into parliament hack still ongoing

24 March 2019 in Security

The investigation into the attack on the networks of the Australian Parliament and the three main political parties — Liberal,…

Breaking IT News

Optus calls for pre-ordering for Huawei P30 series smartphones

27 March 2019 in Telecoms & NBN

Optus has started taking pre-orders for the new Huawei P30 and P30 Pro smartphones.

Switch Media set for Asian markets expansion

27 March 2019 in Strategy

Australian content streaming service Switch Media is planning to expand into Asian markets and has appointed 20 year ICT industry…

Curtin University signs with TechnologyOne for digital transformation

27 March 2019 in Deals

Western Australia’s Curtin University has signed a three-year SaaS agreement with listed ICT services company TechnologyOne to digitally transform its…

Australians' trust in banks' data-handling low: study

27 March 2019 in Data

Australians have the lowest level of trust in the ability of their banking institutions to handle personal data securely, a…

Employees continue to use 'unauthorised' tools to get their job done

27 March 2019 in Security

A recent survey by Igloo found that a significant portion of employees at any workplace will 'upgrade' their software environment…

Sale of some iPhone models may be barred in US

27 March 2019 in Mobile devices

Apple may have to stop selling some iPhone models in the US if a judgment that found it had infringed…

Technologies will enhance education competitiveness: report

27 March 2019 in Market

Higher education CIOs should have technologies on their radar this year, especially as they look to enhance their competitive advantage…

Optus switches on six mobile towers in Tamworth region

27 March 2019 in Telecoms & NBN

Singtel Optus has switched on six new mobile towers across the Tamworth region which will improve the 4G coverage.

Ericsson launches new solution to ‘accelerate’ 4G digital transformation, path to 5G

27 March 2019 in Enterprise Solutions

Swedish communications giant Ericsson says it has launched an easy-to-use cellular connectivity solution aimed at accelerating industry 4.0 digital transformation.

US smartphone market drifts down for 14th straight month

27 March 2019 in Mobile devices

Smartphone sell-through in the US fell for the 14th consecutive month in January, with a 2.7% fall year-on-year, the analyst…

First businesses chosen for Government-funded digital transformation initiative

26 March 2019 in Strategy

The first businesses to undergo digital transformation under a new Australian Government initiative have been announced, with businesses to receive…

KPMG boosts cyber team with two senior hires

26 March 2019 in People Moves

Professional services outfit KPMG Australia has hired two new professionals to bolster up its cyber team which offers services like…

Dimension Data, NTT collaborating on Australian, Japan research into health of ageing population

26 March 2019 in Strategy

Global ICT solutions and services provider Dimension Data and Japanese telco NTT have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with…

Use of myGov portal up by 40% over last 12 months

26 March 2019 in Government Tech

The usage of the government myGov portal has risen by 40% in the last 12 months, a statement from the…

Database tracks global release of commercial 5G devices

26 March 2019 in Telecoms & NBN

Mobile vendor ecosystem group Global mobile Suppliers Association has released the first database that tracks the launch of 5G devices…

Qld Govt appoints NextDC as enterprise data centre provider

26 March 2019 in Data Centres

Listed Australian data centre operator NextDC’s Brisbane-based operations have been appointed by the Queensland Government as a new enterprise provider…

ASUS Live Update security issues known in 2016

26 March 2019 in Security

Security issues with the ASUS Live Update utility, which is claimed to have been used in a supply chain attack…

Australian PC shipments suffered sharp fall in 4Q2018

26 March 2019 in Development

Australian personal computer shipments fell sharply in the fourth quarter of 2018, by 2.5% year-on-year, the analyst firm IDC says,…

Mirror, mirror, on the wall - who’s the smartest mirror of them all? It can only be the Embrace Android-powered smart mirror.

That’s right; a smart mirror. It’s quite literally a mirror. This meant taking photographs for this review was challenging because it’s - obviously enough - highly reflective, but we seriously are talking about an elegant block of glass you mount on a stand or hang on a wall. It’s also splash-proof if you want to use it in the bathroom or kitchen.

EmbraceSmartMirror1

However, move closer, tap it or even talk to it, a la “Hey Google”, and it’s a full-featured Android tablet with a 23” high definition 1920x1080 display.

The tablet is recessed within the mirror and is completely invisible when in mirror mode. Wake the tablet and you have a familiar Android interface, albeit 2015’s Android 6.0.1 aka Marshmallow. However, you can use the built-in camera, microphone, speakers, WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet and USB to do whatever you would ordinarily do in Android. Browse the web, manage photos, play games, remote into a server if you like, heck, even compose an entire review in Google Docs if you can handle typing on an upright screen for a sustained period of time.

The Embrace smart mirror is as the name suggests; it truly is an Android tablet, and it truly is a mirror.

Although a newer version of Android would be nice, Android 6.0.1 is still highly functional and I surmise ensures the hardware specs - and thus heat output and price - are relaxed slightly by the older Android. I didn’t experience any noticeable barrier by using it.

The unit doesn’t contain a battery, despite Android reporting it is fully charged. Pulling the power shuts it off completely, immediately.

Instead of any physical Android buttons, the home and back buttons are soft buttons that float on top of the Android screen. You can easily drag them around though they’re never totally out of the way.

They also expand to give a range of controls specific to the smart mirror, including volume up and down, sleep and power options and other settings. Here you can configure the tablet to go to sleep after a defined time period, and to wake on motion or tap.

EmbraceSmartMirror2

You also have full use of the Google Assistant, meaning you don’t have to touch the tablet/mirror at all. “Ok Google, play music” or “Ok Google, open Gmail” and all these things you expect to do on your Android smartphone work fine here. The first time you issue a command you may be prompted to pick an application to complete the command in, but once you set your music and video player and other default apps it’s all fine from there.

I did have difficulties getting Google to consistently respond to “Ok Google.” Originally I thought the microphone may be weak, but if I tapped the microphone icon in the Google search bar and manually brought up the assistant everything I said was transcribed swiftly and clearly onto the screen. I don’t know why I experienced difficulties here, but when it worked, it was like the stuff of Star Trek, barking orders into a screen on the wall. The speakers were loud and vibrant.

Spec-wise, the Embrace smart mirror has a quad-core PowerVR GPU, 2Gb DDR3 RAM, 16Gb EMMC storage, a 23.6” 1080P IPS LCD, 10-point touchscreen, 8Mbp camera, 3w stereo speaker, 802.11 a/b/g/n d-b Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.0, IP65 splash proof, and consumes less than 3w of power in standby and under 36w while on.

The mirror itself is 800x600x27mm and weighs 12kg. It comes with a desk stand as well as a wall mount. Be careful with the stand; you need to screw it in from underneath and although you get four soft pads to put under the stand I found the screws still scratched my table, to my wife’s dismay, and I had to place a small mat under it for safety.

Now, because this is a full Android device you can sign into all your regular Google services, run all your regular apps, and even use Google Home to control all your smart devices.

Wake up, brush your teeth and instruct Google to turn off lights and air conditioners. Or, if you’re so inclined, use the mirror to make sure you’re looking your best and take a photo then and there, posting it on Instagram with the hashtag WokeUpThisWay as seems to be the done thing.

Embrace, the company behind this device, has worked on it since 2014 and says it is a bunch of geeks who love tech, particularly tech that makes life easier.

It’s interesting to think that the concept of wall-mounted voice-controlled panels has been the stuff of science-fiction for decades, but I struggle to think of any competing smart mirrors on the market. It’s certainly novel, but it is an elegant and attractive mirror and the company has done the right thing by backing it will a full, open, unconstrained Android device. You are not limited by a closed environment and can do with it whatever your mind can imagine, provided it can be done on Android 6.0.1.

EmbraceSmartMirror3

It’s pretty awesome, and you can have one yourself from Embrace. The RRP is $1,699 but for a limited time, the product is on sale for $1,374. This price puts it outside “impulse buy” range but as we move more to a world of home automation the possible uses for the device increase. You could manage your security cameras, as an example, though surely even Dr Spock surely used the panels on the Starship Enterprise to catch up on Netflix while flossing, and so can you.

It was not so easy to take photographs of the mirror, but Embrace has an official video which shows it off nicely.

CDAO SYDNEY TURNS 5 IN 2019

With 50+ Speakers, 300+ senior data and analytics executives, over 3 exciting days you will indulge in all things data and analytics before leaving with strategic takeaways that will catapult you ahead on your journey

· CDAO Sydney is designed to bring together senior executives in data and analytics from progressive organisations
· Improve operations and services
· Future proof your organisation in this rapidly changing technological landscape
· CDAO Sydney 2-4 April 2019
· Don’t miss out! Register Today!
· Want to find out more? Download the Agenda

REGISTER HERE!

LEARN HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF A CYBER ATTACK

Australia is a cyber espionage hot spot.

As we automate, script and move to the cloud, more and more businesses are reliant on infrastructure that has the high potential to be exposed to risk.

It only takes one awry email to expose an accounts’ payable process, and for cyber attackers to cost a business thousands of dollars.

In the free white paper ‘6 Steps to Improve your Business Cyber Security’ you’ll learn some simple steps you should be taking to prevent devastating and malicious cyber attacks from destroying your business.

Cyber security can no longer be ignored, in this white paper you’ll learn:

· How does business security get breached?
· What can it cost to get it wrong?
· 6 actionable tips

DOWNLOAD NOW!

David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

 

Popular News

 

Telecommunications

 

Guest Opinion

 

Sponsored News

 

 

 

 

Connect