Echelon

Smart fitness mirrors are one of those products that imply you mean business when working out. It’s not like having an old exercise bike covered in a pile of laundry and cobwebs. They’re tall and narrow and it would be difficult to drape something over them to hide your guilt.

Even calling them a mirror feels off. Yes, they all technically still reflect your torso and face back to you. But these mirrors think they’re better than your other regular mirrors, and would beat them all up if they could, yelling afterwards, “Looks like 28 years of bad luck in this room!”

Fitness mirrors tend to feature touchscreen displays that offer real-time feedback on fitness goals, house an array of aerobic classes and strength training, and are ideal for those who like looking in the mirror while working out, but don’t want others to see them doing this at the gym.

Why is My Mirror Yelling at Me?

The highly-advanced (pricey) Tonal is pretty much the centaur of the smart mirror world, acting as half mirror, half weight lifting machine. It features two built-in resistance arms that can be applied to over 200 exercises (didn’t know there were more than seven) and gives you access to instructor-led virtual studio classes.

Since the hardest part of going to the gym is leaving the house, what it does more than anything is preventing those embarrassing moments when you put on your workout clothes but end up sitting in front of the TV eating Hot Cheetos. Who am I kidding? I’d still end up doing that with this $3,400 machine.

This mirror with arms also has multiple sensors to ensure you’re doing the movements correctly and provides tracking and feedback just like a personal trainer, but without you secretly hoping they’ll take pity and go out with you.

Mirror (which is owned by Lululemon), seems to have taken the simple “Let’s just call it Mirror” route. It’s more oriented to aerobic classes instead of strength training and gives you access to kickboxing, pilates, ballet, barre, and all sorts of other classes that they’d ask me to leave.

While it doesn’t have sensors, you can get training from a real person using Mirror’s two-way camera, which shuts off to protect privacy when the session is over. Otherwise, you’d hear things like, “That’s what you’re eating after working out?”

The Echelon Reflect offers real-time, personalized stats on your heart rate and calories burned and lets you compete with friends while doing so (my friends and I have drinking contests instead, but to each his own).

There’s even a celebrity section where you can take classes led by celebrities like Mario Lopez. Look, who were you expecting? Christopher Walken? Jesse Eisenberg?

Feel the Burn (in Your Wallet)

Smart fitness mirrors are not like other smart products where a consumer is trying to decide between buying a regular mirror and a smart fitness mirror, like one might do with a smart toothbrush or something. No one’s on the fence here.

But I love the idea that somewhere out there, someone bought a smart fitness mirror for a couple thousand, and later thought, “Should have gotten that $47 one from Home Depot.”

Technically, you could replicate all the above features by purchasing a regular full-length mirror and using fitness apps and trackers on your smartphone along with some inexpensive home gym equipment, but then you wouldn’t feel like you’re living in the future. So if you’re a person that already is highly disciplined with your workouts and know that you won’t only end up shaving or practicing card tricks in front of these, they might be a fit.

Just don’t use one of the smart fitness mirrors in the bathroom. You’ll slip and poke your eye out.

Profile Photo for Chason Gordon Chason Gordon
Chason Gordon is a staff writer and editor for How-To Geek. His writing has previously appeared in Slate, Vice, Input, and The Globe and Mail, among others. He currently lives in San Antonio, but is on a month-to-month lease.
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