Estimote announces the Mirror, a dongle that turns any TV into a smart beacon system

Imagine walking into a store, picking up a pair of shoes, and seeing specs for the kicks appear on a TV next to the display. Or imagine standing in front of an airport departures screen and seeing your flight appear and then a map displaying the best route to your gate. These use cases were supposed to be the killer app for beacons and, finally, these dreams are being realized.

The Mirror from Estimote has gotten the ball rolling. The system is basically a Snapdragon processor connected to an HDMI and USB jack. You plug it into any smart TV and it displays notifications when users approach the device with a beacon-compatible phone or you move a beacon near the Mirror. For example, you can hide a beacon inside of a product and when you approach the Mirror it will trigger a video of the item or even an interactive view of all of its features.

Estimote is shipping the Mirror to developers and will bring the hardware to commercial users over the next year. I spoke with Estimote co-founder Steve Cheney about the product and how it will work in the real world. It’s a pretty cool product with amazing potential.