Smart Mirror: IoT Information Hub With A Built-in Alexa Application
Client & Business Goals: This internal project shows how to create a voice-controlled Internet of Things product for smart home/office
Product: Smart Mirror, information hub with a display that shows various content; it comprises an integrated Alexa application and a number of built-in and 3rd-party services
Mirror: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+, sensors, display, audio I/O, camera; Python 3 (Smart Mirror app), C++ (Alexa app), Kivy UI Framework
Cloud: AWS IoT Platform, AWS Lambda, DynamoDB, CloudWatch
• Amazon technologies: AWS IoT and Alexa
• Built-in sensors gathering data on indoor conditions
• Openness to integration with other software systems and services
How to create a smart mirror based on Amazon services
Smart Mirror takes an item of daily life and turns it into a powerful assistant, a highly functional work of IoT development. It utilizes a special one-way mirror that shows information on a display hidden under its surface, and it can be connected with any platform or service.
Viktor Gubochkin, IoT Lead Solution Architect
"The display of Smart Mirror represents a Kivy-based graphical interface with text, icons, and system widgets, which show date, time, weather, indoor conditions, and an event feed from our internal staff management system MD People. The video below will demonstrate the potential of such products, which can be greatly expanded for the needs of both smart homes and offices."
• The Mirror is connected with the AWS IoT platform as an IoT Thing. The interaction between them is carried out through the Device Shadow service, i.e. any device data is stored on a Device's Shadow as a reported state. IoT Core in the AWS console is used to manage devices, security certificates, policies, etc.
• Voice control is enabled with a speaker, a microphone, and a built-in app powered by the Alexa voice assistant. In turn, Alexa has a set of Skills for the management of Smart Mirror components, such as widget data and settings. Some Skills also work with AWS IoT Device Shadows.
• Our Smart Mirror is capable of face identification. Using the OpenCV library, the Mirror takes a photo, crops detected faces and sends an identification request to our internal facial recognition service called Big Brother. All identified persons are stored in a Device Shadow reported state to be easily accessible from other modules such as Alexa Skills.
• The built-in module with sensors is integrated with GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) Extension Board using I²C bus. These sensors detect temperature/humidity (DH11), pressure (BMP280), and motion, which is used for the sleep mode. The collected information is displayed on the Indoor Widget.
• Smart Mirror is open to seamless integration with any systems and services—from the simplest weather APIs to complex enterprise ERP solutions—and display virtually any kind of information. In our case, it syncs with our internal system MD People and shows a feed with our corporate events like birthdays and anniversaries of employees on the Event List Widget.
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