Talking mirror melds security, fairy tale

Magic Message Mirror verbally delivers home security messages in real time.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, what's the wackiest home-networking gadget of all? The "Magic Message Mirror" by California-based Themeaddicts would certainly have to be up there. It looks and functions like a decorative wall mirror, but hook it up to a home security system and it verbally provides real-time information about people walking up the driveway, entering the yard, doing a jig on the front lawn and so on.

Themeaddicts

The device, created by Hollywood special-effects expert Craig Barr, will also theatrically reveal an integrated live camera feed to show the area that's being monitored.

Verbal information is conveyed on the mirrored LCD display via "Basil of the Mirror," a pompous but entertaining computer-generated English butler type who appears on the 30-inch screen to make such declarations as, "Hmmm, most curious, it seems we have a pedestrian approaching up our driveway;" "for your information, a motor car has departed;" and "alarm, alarm, the pool gate has been opened." The multiple messages are precomposed audio/video files stored in solid state memory on the gadget's server system.

If you don't like the idea of Basil shacking up with you, no worries. Themeaddicts says its designers, for an extra fee, can create a whole new mirror character just for you. Oh, and did we mention that this innovative creation will cost you something in the neighborhood of $20,000? In your dreams--or fairy tales.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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