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Seraku shows off Smart Wash Basin, an Android-operated LCD screen/mirror

May 14, 2012

While we know that most concepts and prototypes shown at expositions and trade shows have little to no chance to ever getting into actual production, it’s still fun to look at innovative gadgets of all kinds.

The latest such innovation that will probably never see the light of day comes from Japanese company Seraku and is called the Smart Wash Basin. Controlled by an Android tablet from behind the scenes, the Smart Wash Basin is a “mirror” that could be installed in bars and restaurants, allowing you to read news, check the weather, or do other things, all while washing your hands.

The guys at The Verge spent a couple of minutes with the Android-powered mirror (you can check the video for yourselves at the end of the post) and the concept looks pretty smart and cool. The mirror is not actually a mirror, but an LCD monitor with a semitransparent piece of reflective glass laid over the top.

With the use of an RF proximity sensor and an Android-powered tablet, the “mirror” can detect where your hands are, so in theory it can be operated without any direct interaction whatsoever. You only have to wiggle your hands around the screen and you can open, close and access any pre-installed apps on the tablet that operates the mirror.

Unfortunately, as far as we could tell from The Verge’s video, the screen lacked responsiveness big time, so at least at the moment, the mirror seems to be more effective when touched. The number of apps that can be displayed by the Smart Wash Basin is not very “generous” right now, but you can check the weather, read newspapers and magazines, and even check out your weight with the help of a scale installed on the floor in front of the display/mirror.

The prototype is far from entering production, but Seraku officials told The Verge that they think they have a good chance of finishing the project and releasing it in the near future.

The company also pointed towards two specific uses for the mirror. They hope to sell it to beauty salons to replace traditional magazines and newspapers and to bars for filing out questionnaires. The Smart Wash Basin might be your perfect drinking partner and, if you find yourself drinking one to many “cervezas” and getting in the mood to talk to someone, you only have to direct your attention to the Seraku-manufactured LCD screen!

Check out the hands-on video below and tell us if you think we’ll ever see the Smart Wash Basin in a salon, bar, restaurant, department store, or any other such establishment!