LAS VEGAS — Ever stared in the mirror and thought, "If only Google were here?"
Well, kind of. The deal is that your mirror is paired via Bluetooth to a small tablet, which Capstone calls a "control hub." The tablet runs Android TV, and uses a Chromecast-esque proprietary technology to "cast" its content to the mirror's screen.
But in practice, using this thing feels just like using a Google Assistant-powered mirror. Anything that's on your hub appears on your mirror as well: YouTube videos, emails, games, or anything else you can download from the Google Play store. You can also use the hub as a standalone tablet, if you're so inclined.
The images don't cover up the mirror, so it's very easy to see yourself and the casted content simultaneously. For example, it would be super easy to scroll through emails while brushing your teeth, or follow along with a YouTube makeup tutorial while you primp.
The mirror is also a touchscreen, so you can keep scrolling if your mouth is full of toothpaste.
Another cool thing: Its microphones can differentiate between up to six different voices. That means that if you and your wife ask to check your emails, the Capstone will pull up the correct account. I wasn't able to test this functionality, but it will be convenient for families if it's legit.
And design-wise, this thing is a looker. It's sleek and shiny, with two bright LED strips that will easily illuminate your bathroom. You can stand it up, or hang it on your wall. The only downside is that it's quite big, with models measuring 19 and 22 inches. It will fit on a desk, but probably not on your sink or bedside table.
I'll admit this device seems like a bit of a gimmick in concept. But after trying it, I can easily see myself using it.
My morning bathroom routine can take 30 minutes to an hour, and while my hands are covered with creams, soaps, and makeup products, it's not super feasible for me to check my phone. I could have a smart speaker in my bathroom (or an Alexa-enabled smart mirror such as iHome's iCVA66), but I'm not so keen on having my texts robotically read to me, especially if I have music playing already. Being able to catch up on emails, scroll through the headlines, or watch a pump-up video or two while getting ready could significantly shorten my morning routine.
Capstone's got a cool idea and while CES 2019 was packed floor-to-ceiling with smart bathroom tech, this was an approach we hadn't seen before. It should ship in early 2019, with pricing to be announced.