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Future Tech: 

The future mirror that scares you into shape


The terrifying future mirror that use scare tactics for motivation.

If you’re trying to stop smoking, or be more active, or cut down on cake, it can be hard to stay motivated. ‘What difference will it really make?’ you might think. All the difference, as you’ll see if you stare into the Future Self Mirror.

It looks just like a standard mirror, but it actually provides a terrifying glimpse into the future. Or one possible future, if you keep smoking / loafing on the sofa all day / guzzling cake like your life depended on it. That’s right, it shows you how you will look in the future unless you kick your bad habits. If that’s not motivation, we don’t know what is.

It does this by gathering data from your fitness, health and diet trackers to show you a version of yourself months or years down the line. Using a digital screen behind the mirror along with motion trackers, it makes the future you using augmented reality, which involves superimposing wrinkles, bald patches and even bigger bellies on your reflection. Here, watch it in action:

It’s a great way of using all the health data that’s currently being collected by fitness trackers. And it’s a much more visceral way of showing the impact of lifestyle decisions. Who wouldn’t cut down on the KFC if they could see how their poor, Bargain Bucket-addled body would look 10 years down the line?

It would be more motivating than a couple of graphs, we’re sure you agree.

The Future Self Mirror is a project from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, made by students Andreas Refsgaard, Line Birgitte, Manu Dixit and Riccardo Cereser. It’s just a prototype for now, but all the tech exists to make it real. There’s certainly enough health data around since the boom in fitness trackers and smartwatches. So maybe don’t have KFC tonight.

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