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Results from the first trial run of the photomirror

I’ve been working on a photobooth for Vain (a great hair salon, where my wife works and where I have my little office). It’s different from a normal photo booth in a few ways that I think modernize it a bit and make it more social. One, it’s free. Two, it’s social — you can browse all of the pictures taken at the “booth”. Three, it’s not in a booth — this latest version is a two-way mirror with a camera behind it that takes your picture when you press a button.

I’m writing the software as a Mac app, since there are pretty easy hooks into triggering a camera, downloading the picture from the camera, and uploading it to the web.

This last Tuesday we tested out the first version of it (that still needs a lot of work) at a Bastille Day party put on by our favorite event-planning business The Adventure School.

Here’s what it looked like:

Photobooth in its first useful setting!

During the 7 hours of the party, almost 800 pictures were taken. Here’s a sampling

The full set is posted on The Adventure School website.

After watching this many people use the booth, I think I’m going to make the following changes before officially setting it up at Vain:

  1. More feedback between pushing the button and having the picture taken.
    1. Speakers with some kind of sound
    2. Flickering lights / torches / a flash
    3. On-screen spinning thing
  2. Figure out lighting
  3. Possibly a way to delete pictures that people don’t like (without making it so easy for people to delete other peoples’ pictures)
  4. Some better instructions that this is a photo mirror, that it’s free, that’s it’s easy to use, etc.
  5. Indications on the mirror about where to look (lipstick?)

2 Responses to “Results from the first trial run of the photomirror”

  1. The trial run turned out fantastically.

    1. I’m enamored with the idea of having the fancy frame itself flicker or glow to prepare people for the snapshot.
    2. If the frame lights were bright enough it might make an awesome http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_flash
    3. Maybe give people a 10 second window to delete the most recent photo?
    4. Since the camera’s only looking through a tiny part of the mirror you could put the instructions directly on it.

    I’d add:
    - work on the interface to trigger the camera. Leaning into that floating button was a tad awkward, though that sometimes had possibly unintentionally interesting results on the photos.

  2. Buster! The mirror photobooth was/is totally brillz. Looking forward to its future iterations.