A mirror that frowns back at you

Alf Linney, a specialist in facial reconstruction, and artist Alexa Wright have designed Alter Ego which allows people to interact with a ‘mirror’ that takes on a life of its own.


Sitting in front of it, the viewer is captured on video and the dimensions of their face are mapped onto a generic model (with a simplified version of the technology Linney uses for surgery). After some 30 seconds, the ‘reflection’ begins to react to the person’s facial expressions. “We can make the model do whatever the person in front of it is doing – smile or laugh – or we can give it an alter ego, a sort of a mind of its own”, explains Linney.

The mirror won’t do what the user necessarily expects. For example, the mirror can shock smiling people by suddenly frowning back at them.

More mirrors: persuasive mirror, MirrorSpace.