Montano creates interactive mirror technology

Joe Montano '16Mirror, mirror on the wall, why can’t you just do it all?

This idea popped into Joe Montano’s head one morning while getting ready for the day. Instead of dragging his laptop into his bathroom to check his emails and listen to music, he thought why not incorporate all those features into something more practical? This is where the idea for the Smart Mirror was born.

Montano, of Ellensburg, Wash., who earned a computer science degree from Linfield College during commencement exercises May 29, created the Smart Mirror for his senior project.

“I thought about what a smart mirror would be like and how I would like to own one,” said Montano. “I saw various do-it-yourself projects pop up on the internet and while they were very impressive projects, ultimately they all failed to do the simple tasks I believe should be standard in the smart mirror.”

Montano developed a prototype of the interactive mirror out of a television, a layer of glass and reflective film, an infrared overlay and the casing, or frame, made by Solid Form Fabrication. The Smart Mirror plays music, connects to the internet, responds to voice commands, uses wifi and other functionality. Highlights include touch screen, password protected user profiles, Android operating system and full Android store access. The mirror accommodates any app that can be purchased on the Android store for a phone or tablet.

Montano has created a kick starter project to further develop his prototype as well as create more Smart Mirrors. He hopes to make the product available in the consumer market as tablets and flat screen TVs.

An entrepreneur at heart, Montano woke at 3 a.m. during spring semester to balance his Linfield coursework and programming job for Open Dental Software in Salem. He started at Linfield in the fall of 2011 as a basketball recruit and studied computer science for two years, before taking time off to launch a business and pursue consulting work. He resumed his studies at Linfield last year.

With Linfield degree in hand, Montano will continue work at Open Dental Software and further develop the Smart Mirror. He plans to present the prototype at NewTech PDX, a monthly Portland technology event.