In fact, the mirror's reflective surface hides 8 cameras and several other sensors. "Together they analyse facial signs to measure the health level of the person in front of it," explains Sara Colantonio, coordinator of the Semeoticons project.
Veronica Chiara Zuccalà, researcher in biomedical engineering, describes the different steps: "An ultraviolet flash will identify substances in the skin associated with the risk of diabetes". Then the system takes images for 20 seconds to study facial micro-movements that indicate a person's stress level. Finally, a spot light allows the system to study skin indicators related to cholesterol.
Clinical trials in France and Italy showed a good correlation between the mirror's reading and results from conventional diagnostic methods.
The Semeoticons project lasted 3 years from November 2013. Close to 3.9 mio Euros of its total budget of almost 5.4 mio Euros were contributed by the EU.
Semeoticons is featured in a contribution to the Futuris programme on the pan-European TV channel Euronews. It was shown on TV more than a dozen times until 19 February 2017 and can still be watched online in several languages: