Markets in everything: the ugly mirror

Tucked between their 4K televisio​ns and their induction cooktop stove, Panasonic’s booth at the Consumer Electronic Show is also home to a futuristic magic mirror way more terrifying than that disembodied mask f​rom Snow White.

The Japanese heavy-hitter’s smart mirror has digital displays, including a secondary projection of your own reflection. The projection can be virtually altered to display different makeup looks, hairdos, and even facial hair styles.

But here’s where it gets really fun: it can also pinpoint all your flaws, from tiny wrinkles to barely-perceptible pores, and then “recommend” a series of beauty products and treatments in order to improve your look. Because apparently we weren’t picking apart our reflections enough as it is.

It also keeps track of your horrible, hideous flaws, so you can see if all the money you spent is working, or if you ought to spend more money.

“Once you start using products, you can track whether or not they’ve been working,” sales rep Joey Liao explained cheerfully, gesturing to another volunteer who sat pouting at a vanity. “So if she buys a very expensive new night cream and a month later has made no progress, goodbye night cream! You don’t need to invest in that anymore. You can use a different product.”

That story was sent to me by the excellent Mark Thorson, who also points us to the Norwegian Caribbean cruise that has a special snow room.


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